The Different Types of Breathing
Types of breathing:
Clavicular breathing: Upper lobar breathing or clavicular breathing is the most shallow and worst possible type. It refers to what takes place primarily in the upper part of the chest and lungs. The shoulders and collarbone are raised while the abdomen is contracted during inhalation. Maximum effort is made but minimum amount of air is obtained. It also called high breathing or collarbone breathing.
Thoracic breathing: Chest breathing or inter coastal breathing is one where inhalation and exhalation are performed by expanding and contracting the chest only, with the rib muscles expanding the ribcage and is the second type of incomplete breathing. It also called intercostals or rib breathing.
Deep abdominal breathing: This is the best, for it brings air to the lowest and largest part of the lungs. It refers to what take place primarily in the lower part of the chest and lungs. It is far more effective than high or mid breathing. Breathing is slow and deep, and proper use is made of the diaphragm. It is also called low breathing or diaphragmic breathing.
Low breathing is far superior to high breathing for the following reasons: More air is taken when inhaling, due to greater movements of the lungs and the fact that the lower lobes of the lungs have larger capacity than the upper lobes. Diaphragm acts like a second heart, its piston-like movements expands the base of the lungs, allowing them to suck in more venous blood. This increase in venous circulation improves the general circulation. The abdominal organs are massaged by the up and down movements of the diaphragm. Low breathing has a beneficial effect on the solar plexus a very important nerve center.
Yogic Breathing: A full Yogic breath combines all the above three, beginning with deep breath moving the stomach gently forwards and continuing the inhalation through the intercostals and clavicular areas. As defined by yoga, it involves the entire respiratory system and not only includes the portion of lungs so as to take in more air than the amounts inhaled by all these three kinds of breathing together when they are employed in shallow breathing. The complete breath is not just deep breathing: it is the deepest possible breathing.
Once you feel proficient in the practice of abdominal breathing you are ready to learn the full yogic breathing. In this, you breathe in slowly, then expand the abdomen, then the ribcage and finally the upper portion of the lungs. You breathe out in the same manner, letting the abdomen cave in as you exhale. This is the complete YOGIC breath.