Technique

Inhale slowly by allowing your abdomen to expand.

Try to breathe so slowly that little or no sound of breath can be heard.

At the end of abdominal expansion, start to expand your chest outwards and upwards. At the end of this movement draw your collarbone and shoulders toward your head. This completes 1 inhalation. The whole process should be one continuous movement, each phase of breathing merging into the next, without there being any obvious transition point.

There should be no jerks or unnecessary strain. Your breathing should be like the swell of the sea.

The rest of the body should be relaxed. Now start to exhale.

First relax your collarbone and shoulders. Then allow your chest to move, first downwards towards the feet and then inwards. After this allow the abdomen to contract. Don't strain but try to empty the lungs as much as possible by drawing or pulling the abdominal wall as near as possible to the spine. Again the whole movement should be a harmonious whole.

This completes 1 round of yogic breathing. Hold your breath for a second or two at the end of each inhalation and exhalation. Inhale and do another round. Do up to 5 rounds on your first day of practice. Don't strain.

Every day increase your practice by 2 rounds, or as time permits.

Ten minutes yogic breathing is a reasonable length of time to eventually aim at. With enough practice you will find that the whole movement will occur naturally. No effort will be required.

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