The focus of this breathing exercise is alternately relaxing and contracting the muscles of the abdomen. Keep the ribcage and shoulders as still as possible. This will be diffcult, especially as you become fatigued.
This exercise removes carbon dioxide from the blood, so it is normal to feel a little dizzy. If you become moderately or significantly lightheaded, stop and rest while breathing normally. Then continue at a slower pace.
This exercise strengthens the abdominal and lower back muscles. It reduces the carbon dioxide in the blood.
This exercise is basically controlled hyper-ventilation. It reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood, making it easier to hold the breath afterward, as your body returns to its normal oxygen-carbon dioxide balance.
You may notice, after completing the exercise, that your breath becomes slow and shallow, perhaps even suspending altogether. Embrace this development, it is one purpose of the exercise. Stillness in the breath is an important landmark on the journey toward a still mind.
An excerpt from the Beginning Ghosh Yoga Practice Manual.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga. This blog is about their experience with yoga practice, study and teaching.
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