We can stimulate our brains and glandular system in different ways by dividing the inhalations and exhalations into several equal parts, with a slight suspension of the breath in between.
Instead of inhaling and exhaling motion, we break the breath up into segmented “sniffs.” It’s important not to pull the breath too deeply, causing the nostrils to collapse as we draw the air into the lungs. The breath should be relaxed and focused - directing your attention so that you
feel the breath moving along your air passages into your diaphragm.
When practiced properly, segmented breathing creates stable and
predictable influences on your state of mind and energy levels.
Ratios for Segmented Breathing
(Inhalation : Exhalation)
4:1 - healing, energizing, uplifting
4:4 - clarity, alertness, triggers glandular system
8:8 - calming, centering
8:4 - focusing, energizing
4:8 - calming, unblocking, releasing
4:1 Segmented Breath For Depression
1. Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine & light Neck Lock. You can fold your hands in your lap, or place them in Gyan Mudra (thumb and index fingers touching).
2. Close your eyes and begin a 4:1 segmented breath. Breathe 4 slow, equal sniffs through the nose to fill your lungs to capacity. Exhale completely through the nose in one breath that is the same length as the 4 inhales. Make the breath continual, with no pauses between the inhalations and exhalations.
You may choose to mentally vibrate a mantra, such as: I Am, I Am on the inhale, and Blissful on the exhale.
3. Continue for 3-11 minutes.
4. To End: Inhale deeply, suspend the breath, briefly, then relax.
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