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Breathing - FAQ

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

1. What is the ideal time for doing breathing exercises?

The ideal time for doing breathing exercises is between 4 am to 6 am when both the nostrils are working with similar force. In other times of times, our nostrils follow the pattern of the nasal cycle where most of us breathe dominantly with only one nostril at a time. As it's not practically feasible for most of the population to practice during this time, it is advisable to carry out breathing exercises at the time of one’s convenience. It is advised not to consume any food/drinks (other than plain water) 30-45 mins before the breathing practice.

Benefits are visible when the practice is done regularly at least 5 days a week.

Understand more about Nasal Cycle:

2. What is the ideal posture to follow for breathing exercises?

Meditative postures like Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose), padmasana (lotus pose), sukhasana (easy pose), Siddhasana / Siddhayoni asana (accomplished pose) are usually coupled with breathing exercises. These postures help to keep the spine erect.

If you are unable to adapt to any of these poses, you can sit in any position that is comfortable to you but always ensure that the head, neck, and spine are in a straight line.

Ultimately when the focus has to be on breathing, we should make ourselves comfortable first. Else the practice would be prone to distractions.

If there are limitations to sitting down on the mat, you can choose to sit on the chair or the position of comfort.

3. Do we need to inhale / exhale while changing A-kara / M-kara / U-kara / AUM-kara ?

We need to inhale completely first and then as we exhale, we have to chant. Chanting is done for the full length of exhalation.

4. Are the normal breathing exercises and pranayama the same?

No. Not all yogic breathing exercises are the same.

Yogic science outlines 3 different types of breathing exercises or techniques which affect our physical and mental states.

  • Kriyas

  • Yogic Breathing

  • Pranayama

5. Does our abdomen raise when we do the thoracic and clavicular sectional breathing?

Yes, the abdomen naturally rises, but the focus for the thoracic breathing is on expanding the chest and ribcage whereas for clavicular breathing the focus is on expanding the shoulder and collar bone. We do not tend to expand the abdomen to the fullest as we do it abdominal breathing.

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