The Yoga Tutor

Adham Pranayama

[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 46 ]

Adham Pranayama is the lower lung breathing, often referred to as abdominal breathing.

  • To control the lower or inferior lobes of the lungs, place the palms of the hands onto the lower margin of the ribcage, in the region of the diaphragm.

  • Start to breathe deeply by first inhaling into the front section of the lower lungs as indicated in picture #1, then into the side section (pic #2), and finally followed by the back section (pic #3).

  • Note: For all three parts, concentrate on sending the breath deep into the lower lung area here, not allowing the upper or mid chest area to expand at all.

  • Exhale in reverse order by first releasing the air from the back section, then from the side and finally the front section of the lower lungs.

  • As you perform this three-part breath into the lower lung area, move the hands from the front to the sides and then to the back on the inhalation (pics 1, 2, 3 respectively), then
    from the back to the sides to the front on the exhalation (pics 3,2,1 respectively) to enable you to concentrate and focus your mind on those specific areas as they are being filled and emptied.

  • Note: This use of the hands is called sparsha mudra, or simply the gesture of touching.

  • Perform this lower-lung breath at least nine times.

NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.

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