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.
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.
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,
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!