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Dirga Pranayama ("Three-Part Breath")

This breathing technique brings about maximum relaxation and effectively calms your mind and body. For the working community, this is perhaps one of the breathing exercises that you want to adopt into your lifestyle. It helps to reduce stress as well as anxiety. Interestingly, you can practise this breathing technique while lying down on your back or in a seated position if you prefer.


Take slow and deep breaths through your nose during this breathing exercise. Here is the set of instructions:

  1. Begin by dimming the lights, lying down on your back and resting your lower back fully on the mat or; stay in an easy seated posture and rest your palms on your knees - Sukhasana ("Easy Pose")

  2. If you are lying down on your back, you can stretch out your legs or slightly bend your knees to your comfort. You may place a blanket over yourself to keep warm

  3. Gently close your eyes and breathe normally, bringing your attention to your breathing

  4. Place your left palm on your navel

  5. (Inhale) Feel your navel rise as air fills up your stomach

  6. (Exhale) Draw your navel towards your spine as air escapes

  7. Place your right palm on your chest, and maintain your left palm on your navel

  8. (Inhale) Feel your navel rise as air fills up your stomach, and feel your chest rise as you take a deeper breath to expand your ribcage

  9. (Exhale) Feel your chest slowly lowering down first, and draw your navel towards your spine as air escapes

  10. Move your right palm and place it near your left collarbone, and maintain your left palm on your navel

  11. (Inhale) Feel your navel rise as air fills up your stomach, feel your chest and collarbone rise and you take an even deeper breath

  12. (Exhale) Feel your collarbone and chest slowly lowering down first, and draw your navel towards your spine as air escapes

  13. Repeat from Step 4 and continue at your own pace

 

Take time to observe the sequence and control the movement of air in your body. Breathe with awareness so that you can gently guide the air movement through your body. Avoid this exercise if you tend to experience breathing difficulties, always ensure that you feel comfortable throughout your breathing exercises.

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