Deep Breathing

Last Updated: October 15, 2018

Definition - What does Deep Breathing mean?

Deep breathing is a a type of pranayama used in meditation and Kundalini yoga. When the speed of normal, quiet breathing is deliberately reduced, the result is deep breathing. The purpose of deep breathing is to relax the body and calm the mind and emotions.

To practice deep breathing, begin in an easy seated position. Allow the body to settle so that the breath can relax into its natural quiet state. Once the body has settled, slowly move the abdomen out, drawing down the diaphragm, which will draw air into the lungs. To exhale, pull the abdomen in, which will expel air from the lungs. For a fuller exhalation, contract the ribs. The pace of deep breathing should be slow and rhythmic so that the inhale length matches that of the exhale.

Yogapedia explains Deep Breathing

Deep breathing can be practiced sitting, standing or in a reclined asana, although easy sitting postures are recommended. The preferred poses for deep breathing exercises are padmasana (lotus pose), vajrasana (kneeling pose) and swastikasana (auspicious pose).

Benefits of deep breathing are:

  • Relaxes and calms the body and mind
  • Engages the parasympathetic nervous system
  • Promotes positivity
  • Helps balance emotions
  • Improves mental clarity
  • Cleanses the blood

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