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The yoga tool that will change your life


Dirgha pranayama (also called the complete yogic breath or the three-part breath) is the standout yoga technique that has continually had the greatest impact on my life. So much so that I’ve recorded a free download for you to try it.

Dirgha, pronounced DEER-GUH, is a Sanskrit word meaning “stretched.” “Pranayama” is the Sanskrit term referring to yogic breathwork.

Simply put, Dirgha is a long, slow breath that uses your full lung capacity.

Dirgha is a foundational breath that’s wonderful for beginners, but it is far more than an introductory technique. Dirgha is a life-giving practice that should be in everyone’s toolbox, whether you’re new to yoga or have been practicing for decades.

Here’s why.

Dirgha brings you back to the present moment.

The implication of this is huge.

 When you’re in the present moment, you experience life more fully and simply feel more alive.

You are more connected to those around you. For me, this means I see the light in my son’s eyes. I feel the touch of my husband’s hand on mine. I am a better listener with my friends and family.

When you’re in the present moment, you are more connected to your senses. You taste your food more acutely. You feel your feet on the ground. You notice what’s around you, rather than moving through the day in a blur. You’re able to approach the world with more wonder and curiosity, and take in more of it.

You feel your feelings more deeply. The joy, bliss, and excitement of being alive are so much richer. Feeling more deeply can be challenging when you feel sad, disappointed, or angry. But, even then, I’d rather feel the emotions and move through them than numb myself to them and suppress them somewhere in my psyche and body.

When you are in the present moment, life is more manageable.

You’re not trying to figure out the big picture. You’re not worrying about the future or analyzing the past. You’re just looking at what’s in front of you and inside you right now. This renders you way more effective, productive, and efficient in every realm of your life.

When you’re in the present moment, you experience the facts more and the stories less.

At any given time, there are the facts of the situation, and then there are the stories you weave around those facts.

For example, the fact might be that my business made less money this month than it did in the same month a year ago. A story I might create around that could involve this train of thought: “People must no longer be interested in what I have to offer, so my business is going to go downhill. It will eventually fail, and then what will I do to help support myself and my family?”

If I use Dirgha to stay in the present moment, I am able to witness the fact: My business made less money this month than it did in the same month a year ago. Then I can move on. This fact could mean many things, and it could mean nothing. If I am in the present moment, the thought will move on as the moment moves on. If I get wrapped up in a story surrounding it, that’s when it can snowball into a cycle of stress.

Of course, there are times when we need to look at the bigger picture of what a “fact” means, but very often we get lost in stories unnecessarily and suffer undue stress, anxiety, and worry, which cause our physical health to suffer, too.

When you’re in the present moment, you live without regret because you’re living in the here and now. Dirgha breath is a powerful tool to help you live this way.

Now, go ahead and give Dirgha a try with my free download.

Then, leave a comment to let me know what you think. How does it feel for you? Is it something you already use in your life, or something new you might try?

I love to hear from you!

In my next post, we’ll look more specifically at physiological, mental and emotional benefits of Dirgha. They are profound!

Love and blessings,


Allison Signature 2 Smaller

P.S. My new Prasada jewelry website is almost ready to launch and we have been working so hard on it. I can’t wait to share it with you!

24 Responses to The yoga tool that will change your life

  1. Christie September 23, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Great information! I find this helpful, not only to prepare myself for the practice of yoga, but also when I realize that life is just moving too fast and I need to center myself before I get overwhelmed…it clears the mind so I can focus with a fresh start.

    • Allison Gemmel Laframboise September 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

      Thanks so much for your note, Christie! I’m glad you’re able to experience the powerful “re-set” that Dirgha offers. It really can be an antidote to overwhelm. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sara Hogarth September 25, 2014 at 1:38 am #

    This is a amazing tool for calming anxiety!

  3. Ginny September 25, 2014 at 1:45 am #

    What a wonderful download and article. Such a simple technique that has immediate benefits . I experienced a wonderful meditative state as I stayed with the deep breath work . Pranayama always helps me stay grounded and settles my entire nervous system . And yes, it helps me stay present in the moments and appreciate the gifts of simple things . Thank you for the guidance and reminder to use this tool in many various ways at any time . Ommmmmmm

  4. Allison Gemmel Laframboise September 25, 2014 at 2:48 am #

    Yay! That is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing. xo

  5. Callie Lockwood September 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    Thank you, Allison. This was lovely and settled me into a nice calm and presence. It’s also a good reminder to do this practice. I am looking to use it at mid-workday, especially.

    • Allison Gemmel Laframboise September 27, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

      Hi Callie! I’m thrilled to hear from you and so glad you felt calm and present after practicing Dirgha with the download. Let me know if you’re able to integrate it into your work day! xo

  6. Elaine Beane September 27, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

    Thank you for a lovely guided Dirgha Pranayama. I am recovering from a very recent mastectomy and am using this breath a lot as part of my healing process-
    lying on my bed and at the end of each length of walking on the healing garden path.

    • Allison Gemmel Laframboise September 27, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

      Hi Elaine, Wow, you have been through a lot. My heart goes tout to you! I’m so glad you have this tool to help you through your recovery. This made me think of a wonderful Yoga DVD by my friend Carol Shwidock called “Bedside Yoga” if you are looking for any other yoga support for your recovery. Carol recorded this when she was recovering from a surgery to donate part of her liver to her husband. Sending you love and endless healing wishes. xo

  7. Carol Shwidock September 27, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

    Thanks Allison for recommending Bedside Yoga to Elaine. The best way to check it out is thru is a youtube link. As i looked at the time you wrote this email i realized that i was talking about YOU in my Saturday Morning Class at about the same time…i loved what you wrote about the breath bringing one to the present moment and into the FACTS of that moment, not the story line that takes us all either into the past or the future..We are so connected sweet friend. Sending you love always

  8. Jenilyn September 28, 2014 at 1:00 am #

    Allison, I read you email this morning and I thought, ‘oh this will be a lovely way to start my day with dirgha pranayama’. It looked like an 11 minute exercise. All of a sudden I’m on my hands and knees and then suddenly in down dog. Now it must have been longer than 11 minutes, it was a whole yoga class. What a fun surprise. It was fabulous! Thank you so much! Jenilyn

  9. Vandita September 29, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Thank you for creating such a beautiful and helpful site. I will share it on FB and many of our yoga friends.

    • Allison Gemmel Laframboise October 1, 2014 at 1:47 am #

      That’s awesome, V! I’m very grateful. xoxo

  10. Kristin October 5, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    What a great experience listening to your guided audio of Dergha! The audio was so relaxing and easy to follow. It was so cool how I really felt in the moment playing with my children right after. I definitely will use this technique on a regular basis and especially at times when I feel that life is running me. Thank you!

  11. Jaime October 20, 2014 at 11:26 am #

    I loved your article and the statement about being focused in the present when it comes to facts vs created stories we might drum up in our minds was particularly powerful for me!!

  12. Carol Shwidock October 23, 2015 at 1:56 am #

    Sweet Allison, you just continue to amaze me! Your new book sounds like it will be awesome,..filled with simple techniques to stay present and be here now…I am thrilled for you and will pass it on to my students..Your lovely soothing voice is wonderful…kudos my friend and Jai Jai Jai.

  13. Rebecca May 25, 2017 at 6:35 am #

    Hi Allison! I’ve practised the breathing technique every day this week from your video on consciouslifestylemag. I love your presentation – very calming. The breathing technique has amazing effects and has made me aware of feelings which i didn’t even know I was suppressing. I don’t know how yoga does what it does – or how the mind/spirit/body works as it does – but yoga really does have an amazing effect on all of it! Thank you so much. Rebecca xx

    • agemmel May 26, 2017 at 9:38 am #

      Hi Rebecca! I’m so glad to hear that the pranayama flow from consciouslylifestylemag has been helpful to you! I agree — the breath work has helped me so much to uncover pieces of myself that were under the surface and I didn’t even know about….. there is a magic to these practices, especially when we commit to a regular practice. Stay in touch and let me know how your practice continues to unfold! Much love!! XoXo

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