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[Yoga Home][Postures][Breathing][HolisticOnline Home][Meditation][Prayer]

Patterns of Rest Between Inhalation and Exhalation

Based on the breathing patterns, specifically regarding the pattern of rest between the inhalation and exhalation, we can distinguish the following 5 types of breathing cycles:

  1. No voluntary pausing occurs after either inhaling or exhaling,
  2. Cessation of movement caused by deliberate effort after a full inhalation
  3. Stoppage is produced by special exertion after a thorough exhalation,
  4. Voluntarily arrest inhalation at any time and
  5. Intentionally halt exhalation at any time.

You can achieve a more peaceful pause if you do not push inhalation or exhalation to extremes, especially when holding a pause at such an extreme requires some effort or strain. If you have to exert an effort to maintain the rest pauses, this will expend energy and will distract you from attaining and enjoyment of quiescence. The least strenuous conditions for pausing should be sought for maximum effectiveness.

As you become more expert in self-control, you can manage to induce pauses without effort. You will find that you can drift suddenly into a pause whenever you are willing, provided your other bodily, mental and environmental conditions permit. The degree of willingness is itself a factor both in the ease and spontaneity with which one enters a pause and in the length of time during which the pause may be enjoyed without discomfort.

Although it is possible to induce with effort or sink into a peaceful pause without any effort at any time, you will find that you can do either more conveniently and hold such a pause much longer if you prepare for it by several forced inhalings and exhalings in advance. Since the length of time during which a pause may be prolonged without discomfort depends mainly upon the supply of oxygen available in the circulatory system, any process of breathing which develops an oversupply of oxygen in the blood reduces the demands which our automatic inhalation starters make upon our respiratory muscles.

When you have prepared yourself both with easy breathing habits and with firm and comfortable posture skills, you will be ready to enjoy the fruits of peaceful pauses. The amount and effectiveness of the relaxation experienced during the pauses of even skillful practitioners will vary with the fatigue and nervous factors which must be overcome. The powerful hold that overwhelming stress has upon a person's system can be relaxed completely only by sufficiently great counter effort. No fixed rules can be given regarding how much devotion to breathing exercises is needed to vanquish the anxiety produced during any day's work struggle. Only through repeated experimentation can one develop the kind of self-knowledge and self-mastery needed to plan and execute your own program for relaxation.

Go To: Importance of Exhalation or Breathing Out In Yoga

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