The results obtained by a complete mastery of the Science of Breath are great, and no one who has attained them would willingly go back to the old methods, and he will tell his friends that he considers himself amply repaid for all his work.
BENEFITS OF YOGA
BRANCHES OF YOGA
FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF YOGA
GETTING STARTED WITH YOGA
YOGA FOR MEN
YOGA FOR SENIORS
YOGA FOR WOMEN
STANDING YOGA POSES
SEATED YOGA POSES
PRONE YOGA POSES
A TYPICAL YOGA SESSION
YOGA AND SEX
HOW TO ACQUIRE THE YOGI COMPLETE BREATH.
The Yogi Complete Breath is the fundamental breath of the entire Yogi Science of Breath. A student of yoga must become fully acquainted with
it, and master it perfectly before expecting to obtain results from the other forms of breath which are also mentioned in this book. A yogi or yogini should not be content with half-learning it, but should go to work in earnest until yoga breathing becomes a natural method of breathing.
As with most worthwhile things, this will require work, time and patience, but without these things nothing of value is ever accomplished. There is no royal road or pathway to the Science of Breath, and the yoga student must be prepared to practice and study in earnest in the expectation of great results. The results obtained by a complete mastery of the Science of Breath are great, and no one who has attained them would willingly go back to the old methods, and will tell friends that he or or she is amply repaid for all the effort spent in attaining mastery.
We say these things, so you may fully understand the necessity and importance of mastering this fundamental method of Yoga Breathing, instead of passing it by and trying some of the attractive looking variations given later on in this book.
Again, we say to you: Start the right way, and the right results will follow; however, neglect your foundations and your entire building will topple over sooner or later.
Learn this week's asana (yoga posture) from the world's #1 yoga teacher.
Perhaps the better way to teach you how to develop the Yogi Complete Breath, would be to give you simple directions regarding the breath itself, and then follow up with general remarks concerning it, and then later giving exercises for developing the chest, muscles and lungs which have been allowed to remain in an undeveloped condition by imperfect methods of breathing. Right here we wish to say that this Complete Breath is not a forced or abnormal thing, but on the contrary is a going back to first principles--a return to Nature.
A healthy primitive and a healthy civilized infant both breathe in this manner, but a "civilized" adult has adopted unnatural methods of living, clothing, etc., and our natural birthright, in this respect, has been lost to many of us.
We wish to remind the reader that the Complete Breath does not necessarily require the complete filling of the lungs at every inhalation. You may inhale the average amount of air, using the Complete Breathing Method and distributing the air inhaled, whether a large or small breath, to all parts of the lungs. But you should inhale a series of full Complete Breaths several times a day, whenever opportunity offers, in order to keep the respiratory system in good order and condition.
The following simple exercise will give you a clear idea of what the Complete Breath is:
(1) Stand or sit erect. Breathing through the nostrils,
inhale steadily, first filling the lower part of the lungs,
which is accomplished by bringing into play the diaphragm,
which descending exerts a gentle pressure on the abdominal
organs, pushing forward the front walls of the abdomen. Then
fill the middle part of the lungs, pushing out the lower
ribs, breast-bone and chest. Then fill the higher portion of
the lungs, protruding the upper chest, thus lifting the
chest, including the upper six or seven pairs of ribs. In
the final movement, the lower part of the abdomen will be
slightly drawn in, which movement gives the lungs a support
and also helps to fill the highest part of the lungs.
It will be seen that by this method of breathing all parts of the respiratory system is brought into action, and all parts of the lungs, including the remotest air sacs, are exercised. The chest cavity is also expanded in all directions, and, you will notice that the Complete Breath is in fact a combination of Low, Mid and High Breaths, succeeding each other rapidly in the order given, in such a manner as to form one uniform, continuous, complete breath.
At first reading it may appear that this breath consists of
three distinct movements. This, however, is not the correct
idea. The inhalation is continuous, the entire chest cavity
from the lowered diaphragm to the highest point of the chest
in the region of the collar-bone, being expanded with a
uniform movement. Avoid a jerky series of inhalations, and
strive to attain a steady continuous action. Practice will
soon overcome the tendency to divide the inhalation into
three movements, and will result in a uniform continuous
breath. You will be able to complete the inhalation in a
couple of seconds after a little practice.
(2) Retain the breath a few seconds.
(3) Exhale quite slowly, holding the chest in a firm
position, and having the abdomen in a little and lifting it
upward slowly as the air leaves the lungs. When the air is
entirely exhaled, relax the chest and abdomen. A little
practice will render this part of the exercise easy, and the
movement once acquired will be afterwards performed almost
You will find it a help to you if you practice this breath before a mirror, placing your hands lightly over the abdomen so that you can feel the movements. At the end of the inhalation, it can help to occasionally slightly elevate the shoulders, thus raising the collarbone and allowing the air to pass freely into the small upper lobe of the right lung, [not medically accurate] which place is sometimes the breeding place of tuberculosis.
At the beginning of practice, you may have more or less trouble in
acquiring the Complete Breath, but a little practice will make
perfect, and when you have once acquired it you will never willingly
return to the old methods.
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