The Complete Breath


The Complete Breath

The yogic Complete Breath practice presented here can be found in The Science of Breath, by Yogi Ramacharaka, published in 1903. One ten-minute complete breathing session slows the heart rate, oxygenates the blood and brain, lowers blood pressure, energizes the body, shifts your brainwave state, relieves stress, calms anxiety, and clears the mind. Practiced over time, the Complete Breath cleanses and heals damaged or unhealthy lungs, slows the aging process, and yields numerous other health benefits.

Preparation
Sit comfortably erect with your feet flat on the floor, or in meditation posture. Relax your body and close your eyes. With each inhalation, consciously breathe in the energy of life, tasting each breath as you taste water when you’re very thirsty. With each exhalation, consciously breathe out all toxins and impurities, visualizing them as smoke. All inhalations and exhalations should be through the nose, not the mouth. To feel the full effects, do this practice for at least ten minutes.

One Complete Breath Cycle
The complete breath is done in three parts.

  • In part 1, breathe in from the belly up through the chest, fully expanding the entire lung sack. This inhalation should last from 8-12 seconds.
  • In part 2, hold the breath for 6 seconds while completely relaxing the body.
  • In part 3, fully exhale from the chest down to the belly, pressing all the air out of the lungs. This exhalation should last from 8-12 seconds. Let your breathing be slow and measured, and continue to relax your body.

When you’re finished, sit quietly for several minutes. Feel and savor the relaxation, peace and radiance in your body and being.