Travel Yoga:3 Part Breath

Inhale: belly, ribs, chest, stay. Exhale. Repeat. Transition. Transformation.  3 part breath. Dirga Pranayama. 

This breath is my favourite and I practice it absolutely everywhere. I’m writing this now because I’ve found, on this recent trip to Toronto to visit friends, that buses are actually one of the BEST places to practice pranayam (for myself). Three part breath allows a lingering of time and space in between the inhale and exhale. It creates this appreciation for breath that I don’t necessarily get from nadi shodhanam (alternate nostril breathing). It’s like taking a “mind shower”, it honestly washes everything away until it is just your body and space. Plus its a really safe breath for most people to practice (always practice to your capacity, if something does’t feel right-its not).

If you find yourself on a particular noisy bus or with several flight delays and the world is spinning far too quickly and you think you might fall off, take 10 minutes….or 5….or however many you have…

  1. Take a moment to notice the natural rhythm of your breath. What does it sound like? Feel like? Is it shallow? Is it fast?
  2. Inhale slowly, drawing the breath down into the belly. You can place a hand over your stomach if comfortable to feel the belly expand. 
  3. Bring the breath into the ribs now, expanding in the chest
  4. If possible (because some days it certainly is NOT.) allow the breath to come into the upper chest- your clavicle area. 
  5. Hold slightly. Feel the expansion and space you have created in your body and mind.
  6. Exhale slowly through the nose. Upper chest, ribs, belly deflate. 

This breath is balancing for thoughts and emotions. If you are tired it can be used as a wake up and it can also increase concentration. It circulates oxygen to all parts of the body bringing in 7x more oxygen than your regular rhythm (this does not mean the body always needs 7x more oxygen…just saying).

Making it perfect for pre, during and post travel. Build that prana!



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