I’m telling you right now that it if it wasn’t for Dirga Breathing (a.k.a three part breath), I’d never make it through this pregnancy. Thank goodness for pranayama!
Having gone through my prenatal certification in 2012 and then, of course, watching many of my friends carry and have babies of their own, I thought I was prepared enough for the changes about to occur in my own body when I became pregnant. Logically I knew that my body would need to stretch and expand to make room for the little one, but having never experienced that particular sensation before, I wasn’t really ready for that moment when the stretching and expanding actually began.
No one ever tells you about the stretching in the way that you need to know about the stretching. At least no one told me. Everyone tells you that certain postures or movements make it more comfortable for you and for baby, but it wasn’t until I experienced it myself did I really understand what that meant.
Enter my daily practice of Dirga Breathing. This breathing practice is great done on its own or in postures like Balasana (Child’s Pose), side stretches or yummy restoratives like Supta Badha Konasana. And you don’t have to be pregnant to get the benefit of this practice. Anyone can reap the rewards. In fact, this breathing is this foundation for many other techniques.
|Balasana, Child’s Pose|
Dirga Breathing is really simple. In fact, if you’ve gone to any yoga classes at all, then you’re probably familiar. New to yoga? Here’s your daily how-to.
- Begin lying or sitting in a comfortable position with your hands resting on your abdomen. Take a slow deep inhalation and feel the abdomen expand. When you exhale, feel the abdomen relax. Repeat two times, focusing on the expansion and contraction of the abdomen.
- Next move your hands to the ribs. When you inhale feel the abdomen stretch and the ribs expand into your hands. When you exhale, release and allow the ribs to come back towards one another and the abdomen to relax. Repeat two times.
- Finally, inhale to feel the abdomen expand, the ribs stretch and the chest rise up. Exhale and release starting from the chest, then the ribs, then the belly. Continue with a slow and steady pace for 5-10 rounds.
- Remember: inhale abdomen-ribs-chest, exhale chest-ribs-belly