In my class, I ask my students to breathe the impossible breath.
I ask them to breathe into their kidneys, into the sides of the lower back.
When we think about breathing, we often expanding and relaxing the chest or the belly, but the lungs and chest actually expand in five directions:
- The front of the torso expands
- The left side ribs expand
- The right side ribs expand
- The BACK expands
- The spine lengthens
The way to do it:
Simply direct the focus of your breath to the back of the body – shift your mind to your lower back as you slow the inhale allowing your mind concentrate on the breath. Imagine there is a string between your collarbone and the lumbar and with every inhale, that string is getting longer.
Why do I ask for the impossible?
Well, because it is possible.
When we breathe in, our chest expands to accommodate the expansion of the lungs as they fill with air. The problem is, we usually do not breathe as fully or deeply as we have the capacity to and the chest barely moves! Back Breathing technique explores breathing fully and deeply by expanding the chest in all directions allowing the lungs to take in more oxygen.
It also create space in the front of your body, that usually helps to find a path to deepen your asana.
So, I remind my students to do the impossible during the asana practice and they gain more oxygen and progress in their asana practice.