Simple Breathing Exercises – Chirag Patel Jul 07, 2009

Today is a very auspicious day of GURU PURNIMA – full moon day of ASHAADH month in Indian Lunar calendar. I wanted to write about the breathing exercises I do everyday. What better day than this!

First, let’s talk about some preparations before performing breathing exercises.
1) Your stomach must be empty before an hour of exercising.
2) You can take water before 15 minutes of exercising.
3) Sit in quiet, undisturbed place with good light and air.
4) Never do any exercise hastily.
5) Stop doing exercise if it does not feel comfortable or if you have severe health condition.
6) All the exercises are performed thru’ nose except where noted.
7) Do not drink, eat or talk for 15 minutes after performing exercises.

So, let’s begin these golden steps which I practice almost every day and have done that for more than 5 years! These exercises will control your stress level and blood pressure, and will strengthen your immunity. You will be free from allergy and other health problems. These will also help conditions such as arthritis, blockage in artery, asthma.

1) Very gently, take deep breathe thru’ until the intake air fills lungs up to throat. Then, gently, empty all air thru’ nose. Repeat this inhale-exhale cycle four times. It should take around 1 minute to complete these four cycles.

2) Without worrying about inhaling, push your stomach gently as if you are pumping so that air is pushed out from stomach/lungs. This push should not change your facial expressions. 🙂 Do this for almost one minute.

3) Take breathes thru’ nose in steps until stomach/lungs are filled. That is, take a short breathe, pause, take short breathe again. Once lungs/stomach are filled, push out air forcefully from mouth stretching your tongue out. Do this cycle four times.

4) Close right nostril with thumb. Inhale from left nostril filling lungs. Once lungs are filled, close left nostril with last two fingers, open right nostril and exhale from right nostril. Once lungs are fully empty, inhale from right nostril. Once lungs are filled, close right nostril with thumb, open left nostril and exhale from left nostril. This is one cycle. Do four such cycles.

5) Keep both nostrils open, inhale counting 1-2-3-4 mentally. Close both nostrils with thumb and fingers. Count 1-2-3-4 mentally. Open nostrils and exhale counting 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 mentally. Close both nostril and count 1-2-3-4 mentally. This is one cycle. Do it four times.

6) Very gently, inhale and fill stomach/lungs. Once filled, close both nostrils with thumb and fingers. Without opening mouth, try to touch your chest with your chin. Stretch as much as possible. Rest in extreme proximity of chest and then without opening mouth/nostrils, act as if you would drink water. After 5 seconds in this position, open nostrils and exhale gently. This is one cycle. Do it two times.

7) Gently inhale and fill stomach/lungs. At the same time, pull your rectal muscles towards stomach. Exhale and empty stomach/lungs. Without inhaling, and keeping rectal muscles stretched, stay in the posture for as long as you can (begin with 10sec and reach up to 40sec gradually over several days).

I would love to know your experiences/queries.

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