Definition - What does Drgha mean?

Drgha, sometimes spelled dirgha, is a Sanskrit word that means “long,” particularly in regard to space or time. For example, drgha-kala means doing something for a long time. In his Yoga Sutras, Patanjali refers to the practice of yoga as being dirgha, as well as without interruption and with devotion.

Drgha is also a term used in relation to a form of pranayama, or yogic breathing exercise. It is called drgha swasam pranayama or simply drgha (or dirgha) pranayama. In English, it is referred to as three-part breathing or the complete breath.

Yogapedia explains Drgha

In drgha pranayama, the yogi fills the lungs completely starting from the abdomen up. The exhale is in reverse, from the collarbones on down. The technique is thought to balance prana, the universal life-force energy. This balance provides a wide range of physical and spiritual benefits.

Practicing drgha pranayama relaxes and focuses the mind in preparation for asana practice and meditation. It also reduces stress and anxiety while boosting stamina and relaxing the nervous system. Because drgha pranayama, and pranayama in general, oxygenates the blood, it offers a host of related physical benefits particularly for the heart, lungs and immune system.

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