The Yoga Breath: Vibhagha Pranayama


The complete yoga breath is called vibhagha pranayama. The Sanskrit word vibhagha means ‘section’, or ‘division’. The lungs have 3 distinct regions (or lobes). ibhagha pranayama teaches lobular (sectional) breathing, or control of the breath within each of these three distinct regions of the lungs.

This pranayama, or yoga breathing exercise, is the ‘A-B-C’ of proper breathing, the foundation for good breath control and the bedrock of good health.

The lungs are divided into three major sections:

  1. Adhama, the inferior or lower abdominal area.
  2. Madhyama, the mid or intercostal (rib cage) area.
  3. Adhyama, the superior, high or clavicular area.

To practice taking a full breath, we divide the breathing practice into three parts, focusing on each area of the lungs individually and then, at the end, perform them all together as the mahat yoga pranayama, or the ‘Yogic Full Breath’.

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