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Some simple breathing techniques

There are lots of disciplines involved in yoga, including movement, balance and concentration. However, perhaps the most important thing is breathing. If you get this right, you can really start reaping the rewards.
So, before you roll out your yoga mats and get stuck into your next routine, it might be worth taking some expert advice on board.


One woman who’s well aware of the importance of effective breathing is Kate Holcombe, founder and president of non-profit organisation the Healing Yoga Foundation in San Fransisco. Writing in the Yoga Journal, she gave some advice concerning Pranayama techniques.

The specialist noted that the term Pranayama literally means ‘to extend the vital life force’ and stated that there are some simple breathing methods associated with it. These can be “used at any time to transform not only your breath but also your state of mind”, she claimed.

Basic Breath Awareness

The first technique Ms Holcombe recommended she called Basic Breath Awareness. This is a gentle introduction to diaphragmatic breathing that helps you to breathe more fully and consciously. She recommended trying it at least once a day.

To do it, lie comfortably on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor about hip distance apart. Place a palm on your abdomen and breathe comfortably for a few moments, noticing the quality of your breath. Then gradually begin to make your breathing as relaxed and smooth as possible, introducing a slight pause after each intake of air and exhalation.  Do this for around six to 12 breaths.

The Cooling Breath

Secondly, the expert recommended The Cooling Breath, or Sitali Pranayama. To do this, sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor with your shoulders relaxed and your spine naturally erect. Slightly lower your chin and curl your tongue inwards to create a straw-like effect. Project it out of your mouth to a comfortable distance and inhale gently through it as you slowly lift your chin toward the ceiling.

At the end of your inhalation, retract your tongue and close your mouth, exhaling through your nostrils as you lower your chin back to a neutral position. Repeat this process eight to ten times.

The Long Exhale

Thirdly, Ms Holcombe drew attention to The Long Exhale. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place a palm on your abdomen and take a few relaxed breaths, feeling your abdomen expand and contract. Mentally count the length of each inhalation and exhalation for several more breaths.

If the inhalation is longer, begin to make them the same length and keep extending the length of your exhalation until it is up to twice the length of your inhalation. Finish your practice with six to eight natural, relaxed breaths.

The perfect clothes

When you’re going through yoga routines, it’s important that you’re wearing comfy yoga clothing otherwise concentrating on your breathing and your exercises in general will be tricky.

Here at Wellicious we offer an impressive selection of stunning yoga workout clothes that look great and feel great to wear.


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