A deeply relaxing practice, the belly breath is one of the first breaths taught in yoga. Also known as abdominal breath, it is a simple and effective way to slow down the breath and mental activity. Awareness is shifted from the mind to the belly. The belly is a space of stillness, a vast ocean of peace. Anxiety brought down to the belly dissolves in this ocean of tranquility. The belly breath is the most relaxed and efficient breath (once you get used to it, particularly if you are a chest breather). It is much more difficult and strenuous to deepen a chest breath than it is to deepen the belly breath. The body gets the most oxygen with the least exertion. It is an effective way to increase lung capacity. You feel quietly energized and rejuvenated. It can also help reduce high blood pressure.
The belly breath slows down the metabolism so you may want to cover yourself with a light blanket. The suggested position for this practice is lying down in the corpse position or shavasana. Try it out for insomnia.
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