Long Deep Breathing
LDB is a technique that uses the full capacity of the lungs by using the three chambers of the lungs: abdomen (bottom), chest (middle), collarbone (top). The inhale begins with a belly breath, then the chest breath is added, and it ends with a collarbone breath. The combination of abdominal, chest and collarbone breathing is in one fluid motion. Long Deep Breathing (LDB) is one of the most important tools in Kundalini Yoga technology.
This is why:
- Long deep breathing affects the parasympathetic nervous system causing it to relax and calm
- Increases the flow of prana (life energy)
- Reduces and prevents the build-up of toxins in the lungs by encouraging the clearing of the small air sacs (alveoli)
- Stimulates the brain chemicals (endorphins, the happiness hormones) that help fight depression.
- Takes the brain to a new level of alertness.
- The spinal cord pumps fluid to the brain, creating more energy
- Stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete, which strengthens intuition
- Filling the lungs to capacity revitalizes and readjusts the magnetic field
- Cleanses the blood
- Regulates the body’s pH balance, which affects its ability to handle stressful situations
- Provides energy and increases vitality
- Helps to clear blockages in the meridian energy flow
- Activates and purifies the nerve channels
- Helps accelerate emotional and physical healing
- Helps to break unconscious habitual patterns such as insecurities and fears
- Helps fight addictions
- Recanalizes previous mental conditioning of pain to reduce or eliminate pain
- Provides the ability to control negativity and emotions, and supports clarity, coolness and patience
Let the breath relax to a normal rate and depth. Bring your attention to the navel area. Take a slow deep breath by letting the abdomen relax and expand. As you exhale, gently pull the navel in and up toward the spine. Keep the chest relaxed. Concentrate completely on the breath with the lower abdomen. Place one hand on the navel point and one on the center of the chest. On the inhale, raise the hand on the navel to the ceiling. On the exhale, slowly lower it. Keep an eye on your chest with your hand to stay still and relaxed. Soon you will notice all the muscles involved in this movement.
The diaphragm muscle separates the thoracic and thoracic cavities from the abdominal cavity and intestines. The diaphragm is a muscle layer that normally has a dome shape. As you relax the diaphragm and stretch the abdomen, the dome flattens, creating additional space for the lungs to expand above it. When you exhale, the dome is remade and the air from the lower lungs is pushed up and out. This pushing allows a portion of the lower lungs to be used efficiently.
Sit up straight and keep the diaphragm still. Do not stretch the abdomen. Inhale slowly using the chest muscles. The chest expands using the intercostal muscles between the ribs. Do this slowly and focus on the sense of expansion. Exhale completely, but do not use the abdomen. Compare the depth and volume of this breath with the isolated abdominal breath. If you place your hands on the upper and lower parts of the ribs, you can feel how the lower ribs move more than the upper ones. They are the floating ribs and are not as fixed as the upper ones on the sternum. So much of the contribution of the ribs and intercostal muscles comes from an expansion to the sides of the lower ribs.
Sit upright. Pull in the navel and keep the abdomen taut. Lift the chest without inhaling. Now inhale slowly by stretching the shoulders and collarbone. Exhale while keeping the chest up.
Putting the Parts Together: Each part of the breath expansion is different. When all three are combined, you have a full long deep breath. Start the inhale with a belly breath. Then add the chest breath and finish with a collarbone breath. All three are done in one smooth motion. Begin the exhalation by relaxing the collarbone and then slowly emptying the chest. Finally, pull in the abdomen to squeeze out the remaining air.