The complete yogic breath is a three part breath. This breathing technique is known as Durga (three part) Pranayama (breath) in the ancient sanskrit language. This breath helps you to focus on the present moment while it calms the mind and grounds the body. It is crucial during your yoga practice and extremely beneficial during running and other workouts. The idea of Durga Pranayama is to bring the air into the front body, middle body, and back body. This technique is helpful while trying to sustain yogic postures, as it calms the mind and focuses the air in the right places of the body.
To practice Durga Pranayama, find yourself in a seated position, feel your sits bones grounding down into your mat below you. Elongate your spine and back body from your tailbone to the crown of your head. Relax your shoulders, your hands, your feet, your face, your jaw, and your eyes will come to a close. Your mouth will be closed gently with just your lips touching. Notice the pace of your natural breath in this moment using only your nostrils.
As you are seated in this position, slowly start to deepen your breath. Take a deep inhale in through the nose, hold it. When you can’t hold that air anymore release it with a deep exhale; then hold that air out for a moment. As you inhale once more, feel that air enter the front of your body, side of your body, and back of your body. As you exhale, find a release. What are you being witness to within yourself in this moment of continuous breath? Allow your thoughts to fade in and out as you inhale air in and out of your body.
This pattern of breath can guide us through our own pattern of life itself. This balance of bringing air in and releasing it out of the body. You are your personal guide in this life. As you find yourself in a calm state of mind, the present moments has a lot to offer you. There is a reason it is called the present moment for it is a gift to you. This gift that we call a present can vary from a simple smile at the silly behavior of birds at the feeder or a delightful personal conversation.
The beauty of this three- part breathing technique is that you can try it anywhere. You might find yourself sitting in traffic super aggravated and all of the sudden you realize you can focus on your breath to calm your mind. Yoga is the idea of simply living life as it is. Think about how a cat or dog lives, they eat, play, sleep, and love unconditionally. Why should we not learn from the other living beings around us including animals?
Feel your animal’s breath at its natural pace. Do this with your own body. Accept the air into your body and the release. Life is full of intake and release. You have the choice of what you take in and what you choose to release out. As you find yourself coming back into the present moment, take a deep inhale and hold. As you cannot hold anymore slowly exhale and release that breath. As you exhale realize that this breath no longer serves you. And begin again.