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Three Part Breath Technique

Updated on January 31, 2011

Three part breath is a powerful yoga breathing technique that helps you revitalize your body. Breathing exercise does this by mobilizing your vital energy that in Sanskrit is called prana or life force. Moving this prana around in your body has a cleansing and balancing effect on you.

In order to live fully you have to breathe fully. The thought behind the three part breath exercise is that when you are an infant you do this naturally. Your body as so evolved that it knows how to breathe the way that is best for you. However, as you grow up you unlearn this pattern and start to breathe with your chest. Not breathing fully contributes to stress anxiety and a feeling of tension in your body.

Benefits of the Three Part Breath Exercise

The purpose of the three part breath exercise is to help you unlearn the unhealthy pattern of taking in slow sips of breath through your nose or even worse through your mouth. If you do this your belly becomes too tense and as a consequence your whole body becomes too tense. Also, your mind becomes anxious as a consequence of shallow breathing.

As opposed to the above, three part breathing is deep and full breathing. It ventilates all of the lobes in your lungs allowing for an adequate exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. This in turn helps dispel anxiety and induces a sense of mental calmness.

Ten minutes of doing the three part breath exercise a day gently contributes to a happy and healthy lifestyle. Also, learning this technique is the first step in learning a series of even more advanced breathing techniques that can accomplish many things for the practitioner, from managing emotions to consciously changing body temperature.

How to do the Three Part Breath Exercise

I offer you two ways to do this exercise properly. First, I spell out the steps you have to take, then I show you a video that makes it even easier to learn how to do three part breath in a beneficial way.

Instructions:

  1. Stand / sit keeping your spine straight.
  2. Take a deep and steady breath through your nose.
  3. Fill the lower part of your lungs letting your belly push out as you do so.
  4. Fill the middle part of your lungs letting your ribs and breastbone push out.
  5. Fill the highest part of your lungs letting your upper chest push out.
  6. Complete the breath by exhaling twice as slowly as you inhaled.

Watch this straightforward video on how to do Three Part Breath

Don't worry, - relaxing your belly won't cause you to have a sloppy girth. Just on the contrary.

This is not it. Let's start with the basics.
This is not it. Let's start with the basics.

Have you mastered the Three-Part Breath? Try taking it one step further. Look at my hub about Alternate-Nostril Breathing.

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    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for this very informative hub. I learned some breathing techniques with Art of Living before. However, I've stopped using them. This reminds me to do some breathing exercises again.

    • ZarkoZivkovic profile image

      ZarkoZivkovic 8 years ago from Serbia

      You are absolutely right, Chi is Chinese or Japanese, they bought use the same word. But all in all Prana and Chi are different words for the same thing.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 8 years ago from Hungary

      I heard about that. I believe prana is a Sanskrit word while chi is probably Chinese, but they both refer to the same thing. If I'm right at all. Thanks for your comment Zarko.

      And yes, start again.

    • ZarkoZivkovic profile image

      ZarkoZivkovic 8 years ago from Serbia

      This is actually pretty good, I used to do some Prana Jama back in the day. But after a year or so I quit, your hub reminded me of that, so I might just start all over again :)

      If you don't know Prana is Chi, and Prana Jama is a Chi breathing exercise.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 8 years ago from Hungary

      I hope it helps you, Wrath. Thanks for coming by.

    • Wrath Warbone profile image

      Terry Chestnutt 8 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      I had asma as a child and always breath through my mouth because I cannot get enough air from through my nose. Maybe that is why I am an anxious person. I will try this simple technique which you demonstrate and describe clearly. May be just what I need. Thanks.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 8 years ago from Hungary

      lolol I'm still breathing. :)

    • profile image

      Justine 8 years ago

      Your welcome. I hope you are well today, breathing proper and all. :)

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 8 years ago from Hungary

      Justine, thank you for telling me your favorite color so beautifully yesterday! It carried the message of life in a beautiful way. :)

    • profile image

      Justine76 8 years ago

      Yes, I love to belly dance. It is good exercise and always puts me into a good mood. I need to breath right while dancing, or I will get dizzy and not do the moves correctly.

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 8 years ago from Hungary

      I do except that I'm a newbie. I do breathing exercises for the main.

    • missmaudie profile image

      missmaudie 8 years ago from Brittany, France

      Happiness but also calmness I'd say, altough I don't know I'm that good at it! But that's not supposed to matter, there's no ego involved in yoga. Do you not practice then?

    • Haunty profile image
      Author

      Haunty 8 years ago from Hungary

      Justine, The belly dancing lessons must have been exciting. Do you still belly-dance sometimes? :)

      missmaudie, it's said that a feeling of happiness springs forth from the heart during yoga practice once you've become good at what you're doing. Is it truly so?

      Thank you for your kind comments, ladies. :)

    • missmaudie profile image

      missmaudie 8 years ago from Brittany, France

      Interesting hub as usual Haunty. I started practising yoga a couple of years ago and I love it, I feel much better as a result of learning how to breathe properly. The video is very instructive by the way.

    • profile image

      Justine76 8 years ago

      I learned some of this when I took belly dancing lessons. This is good advice Haunty, breathing properly does help with stress.

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