My first offering is s i m p l e, e a s y, and f u n d a m e n t a l.
It is D I R G H A pranayama
(Otherwise known as the complete yogic breath, or the 3 part breath.)
In Sanskrit Dirgha= stretched or long, and Pranayama=the extension or restraint of Life Force/the breath.
If you are new to meditation or yoga this is a great place to start. I’d even say it’s THE place to start! If you’re not interested in meditation or yoga and you just want a way to chill out + feel more grounded—this is also for you!
This week try carving out 5 minutes a day to practice this breath. You could even do just a total of 2 minutes! 1 minute of breathing and 1 minute just to notice the after effects. Try it when you wake up, before going to sleep, or when you need to press the reset button during the day.
STEP 1: Sit in a comfortable seated position (or try lying on the ground if you feel any discomfort or difficulty doing this while seated).
STEP 2: While breathing in and out of your nose begin to notice the natural pace and depth of your breath. (If it feels comfortable close your eyes to help turn your attention inwards and become aware of the subtleties of your breath.)
STEP 3: Place a hand on your belly and softly begin to expand your belly on your inhale, and draw your belly towards your spine on the exhale. Continue 2-3 more times.
STEP 4: Fill the belly on the inhale and draw in a little more air as you allow your ribs to flare out to the sides (this is intercostal breathing). Exhale and release the ribs and the belly. (You might practice flaring the ribs on the inhale without expanding the belly if it feels easier to isolate this step at first)
STEP 5: Once you feel comfortable with filling the belly and flaring the ribs, take in your biggest breath of the day so you feel your belly fill, your ribs flare, and your collarbone lift. Exhale and let it all go. (It is not necessary to release the belly, ribs, and collarbone in any particular order.)
STEP 6: Set your timer for one minute and practice filling belly, ribs, and chest on the inhale, and fully emptying your lungs on the exhale. Alternating between a sense of fullness on the inhale and emptiness on the exhale.
STEP 7: For another minute just sit and notice the effects of Dirgha Pranayama on your body, mind, and spirit. (Noticing the after effects is just important as actually doing the pranayama!)
Stay tuned throughout the week for more tips and info on Dirgha Pranayama!
Happy practicing, and feel free to reach out with any questions!