But first, a correction
Following on from my previous post here, I said that the lungs don't actually go up to the shoulders, which was not what I meant! They don't go all the way up to underneath the collarbones is what it should have read. And the top tips of the lungs, they go up in a beautiful arc to peak just slightly out to the sides, towards the shoulders. These arcs are quite little, & frequently overlooked. But as part of the lungs, they should be included. If you put the palms, fingers pointing in, just under the collarbones, & breathe in & out in this position, you will be influencing those lung tips.
Why do the complete breath?
- it reduces inflammation, by cooling the body. So anyone who overheats for any reason, will find it effective
- it gets more oxygen to the brain, & for those who have never experienced the complete breath properly, it will be interesting. Suddenly, the brain lights up!
- we feel great, &, as oxygen is one of the key components that our brain needs, we feel fantastic
- we get less tired. Often tiredness can be traced back to our brains needing more oxygen
- our overall health improves, as we get improved nerve function, via the lungs & the brain
And the channelled technique mentioned, is actually for the same, but also different, reasons. The different reason are this:
- breathing into the lower lobes of the lungs, expanding in all directions, causes the abdominals to move even more, as well
- so first we learn to expand the lower lungs in this way. A lot of the work of the lungs is supposed to be done deep in the lungs
- then the breath continues, naturally & effortlessly, in that expansive manner, in an upwards motion, as though travelling up a big tube. The breathing capacity will naturally increase
- exhale as though the lungs are emptying from top to base, gently drawing the abdominals back towards the spine, as you do so
- release the abdominals to start the next breath.
To do all this, causes the breath to slow down, which settles our emotions & therefore correspondingly settles our restless minds. An absolute bonus. As well, the breath helps reduce inflammation, & working the abdominals also encourages digestion & bowel function.
Once you can do the complete breath in this way, the next step is ujjayi. Soft ujjayi, & this will help open up hridayakasha, the non-physical space of the heart chakra/anahata.
The outwards tubular effect of the lower lungs, & gently drawing back of the abdomen & the navel, especially with ujjayi, works on the pranamaya kosha: the body sheath of our life - force, our prana. When the pranamaya kosha awakens, our kundalini energy can be released upwards. This is not necessarily Mother Kundalini snake, the entity of kundalini. I am talking about the trapped energy of kundalini here. Our pranic energy also "lifts up" as we take our breath up. The natural movement of energy is upwards. Earthbound energy likes to move up.