Studies show 5 times more oxygen intake with yogic breathing.

“INHALE, PUSH OUT THE BELLY, PUSH OUT THE RIBS, PUSH OUT THE CHEST ...EXHALE, DRAW IN THE BELLY, THE RIBS, THE CHEST…”  This phrase is familiar to anyone who has attended any of my yoga practices.  

Yoga’s Three-Part-Breath, called “Dirgha Pranayama” is the foundation of all yogic breathing techniques. 

Studies have shown, you can take in and give out five times as much air - that means, you get 5 times as much oxygen and five times as much prana in three part deep breath, than you will get in typical shallow breath.

Yoga’s Three-Part Breath (Dirgha Pranayama)

Calms the mind and body

Reduces stress and anxiety

Promotes full and complete breathing

Increases oxygen supply to the blood

Helps keep the lungs healthy

Releases muscular tension

Prepared for deeper meditation

Here’s how to enjoy Dirgha Pranayama:

Sit comfortably in Easy Cross Legged Pose (Sukhasana).  Lengthen the spine and gently extend through the crown of head.  Bring the attention to the ajna chakra (area between the eye brows).

Place your hand over your navel - fingers wide.

Inhale and take a slow, deep breath - push out the belly, push out the ribs, push out the chest.  Feel the front body expand.

Exhale - draw in the belly, draw in the ribs, draw in the chest.  Draw the navel towards the spine and exhale completely.

Repeat and continue.


Kirsten Erickson, C-IAYT, YACEP, E-RYT200, RYT500, iRest® Yoga Nidra Level 1 Teacher, Yoga Wellness North