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Diaphragmatic Breath in Shavasana Position

Shavasana imagePhoto Yoga, Mastering the Basics, Sandra Anderson and Rolf Sovik

Lie in shavasana – see instructions if you’re not familiar with the pose. Place one hand on your belly, around the navel center. Place the other on your chest. Allow the breathe to come however it wants – don’t make any effort to change the breath. All change comes from first observing what is present now. Notice if there is more movement in the chest or the navel area. Notice the rhythm of the breath – it’s speed, if there are jerks in the breath, if it feels smooth, faster or slower than you expected or anything else that comes into your awareness. Again, don’t try to change anything in this part of the practice. Simply observe.

After a few minutes, relax the stomach muscles and see if you can allow the breath to move lower so the chest is fairly still and there is more movement in the stomach area. As you exhale, the diaphragm moves up and the stomach itself relaxes back toward the spine. As you inhale, air moves into the lungs, the diaphragm becomes flatter and the stomach area expands. You may even notice the side of the lower rib cage opens slightly as you inhale. Let your arms and hands rest on the floor when they become tired and continue the breathing practice as long as you like.

Allow the breath to be smooth and even. Keep the mind focused on the quiet rhythm of the breath. When your attention drifts away to other thoughts, let them be and come back to your focus on breath. Continue the practice for as long as you are enjoying it. To finish, bend your knees, roll to your left side and support your head with your arm. Relax in this position for several breaths then use your arms to bring yourself up into a sitting position.

Contact: Lynn Fraser  [email protected]