3-Part Breath ♦︎

3-Part Breath is a diaphragmatic breathing exercise that calms the central nervous system, teaches you to breathe fully and completely and connects you to sensations in your body.

As you inhale, first your abdomen, then your ribcage, then your upper chest rise in one smooth movement. And on the exhalation, you reverse the flow. When you’re under stress, your breath can become short and shallow, which can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and pressure. Deepening your breath triggers the parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system response, calming you down and putting you back in control.

The Sanskrit word for breathing techniques like this one is pranayama. They were designed to be practiced alone or as an integral part of the postural practice. I find that it’s a nice one to do in the evening. You can play around with the speed and length of your inhalations and exhalations and also the number of rounds.

BENEFITS OF 3-PART BREATH

  • Calms the central nervous system.
  • Triggers the parasympathetic “rest and digest” response.
  • Teaches you to breathe fully and completely.
  • Heightens your powers of interoception.
  • Reduces heart rate.

EQUIPMENT

TIMING

  • Evening

TIPS AND MODIFICATIONS

  • You can also practice 3-Part Breath lying down on your back. In this position, you can really feel the breath moving through your body as the different parts make contact with the floor.
  • Keep your jaw, neck and shoulders relaxed throughout the exercise.
  • Your breath should never be forced or strained but should come in and go out smoothly. If necessary, you can change the pace.

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