Three-Part Breath is often the first breathing technique taught to new yoga practitioners, it teaches you to breathe fully and completely.
The “three parts” are the abdomen, diaphragm, and chest. During Three-Part Breath, you first completely fill your lungs and chest. During Three-Part Breath, you first completely fill your lungs with air, as though you are breathing into your belly, ribcage, and upper chest.
Then you exhale completely, reversing the flow, repeat a few times.
Benefits of the practice:
Ineffective breathing is a common problem in today’s modern world, compounded by poor posture and long periods of sitting or driving.
When you breathe shallowly (called “chest breathing”), the air only enters your upper chest and very little enters your lower chest.
This causes a lack of oxygen to your blood vessels, which can create strain on your heart and lungs.
Learning to breathe deeply will increase your oxygen supply, which, in turn, will help to decrease stress and anxiety levels.
Additionally, focusing on your body during Three-Part Breath brings awareness to the present moment and calms your mind. Which is a quick and effective technique to practice mindfulness.
According to studies, you can inhale and exhale up to seven times as much air (and oxygen and prana) during a three-part breath than in a shallow, chest-based breath.
This deep breathing is the foundation for other yogic exercises, such as meditation and cleansing kriyas.
Three-Part Breath is often used at the very beginning of a yoga practice to settle in and prepare oneself for practice and meditation.
This technique is particularly beneficial in everyday life because it requires no special sound or position to achieve a grounded and relaxed state of awareness.
When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.
Let’s do a brief pranayama practice:
Allow youself to pause and connect with your breath.
Bring your attention at the present moment.
Grab a seat or get yourself comfortable.
Close your eyes gently. Feel your feet grounding to the earth like a tree.
Set your watch or clock timer for three minutes.
Soften your face and bring your tongue towards the roof of your mouth, behind the front teeth.
Take a short inhalation throughout your nose from the belly area, without exhaling take another inhalation from your lungs area (keep retaining your breath), take another inhalation from your upper chest area, imagine that your are inhaling from your shoulders.
Now begin to exhale from your upper chest, from your lungs area (imagine that you are cleansing your heart from any tension or sorrow), and allowing yourself to let go anything that doesn’t have to stay within your cells tissue exhale from your belly area.
Begin to inhale from your belly area and keep repeating the above guidance during three minutes.
Last but not least:
“Deep breaths are little love notes to your body.”
Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; Criminal Justice, BA; Holistic Practitioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda; Reiki Master; Spirit Guide Coach; Master Resilience Trainer.