Kuksa Pranayama / Uro Pranayama (Belly and Chest Breathing)
Although this breathing exercise may be done from a seated position, it might be easier to sense the movement of your breath while lying on your back. Make sure you are comfortable so that you can attend to your breathing and not be distracted by discomfort in your neck or lower back. This exercise allows you to fully experience diaphragmatic breathing and purify and oxygenate your system and benefit in tension release and anxiety relief, resulting in a feeling of calm and serenity.
Belly and Chest Breathing Position
Lie on your back (although you may sit if that is preferable). Place a blanket or bolster under your knees if you feel any strain in the lower back and a small pillow under your neck if you feel any tension at the back of your neck.
Close your eyes and place both your hands lightly on your belly. Focus your awareness there.
Breathe in slowly. Feel your belly begin to expand and round. Your chest should not move. If you’d like, count to 5 as you exhale.
Rest for a few seconds and repeat 6 more times.
Move your hands so that they rest on your upper chest.
Shift your attention to the middle of your chest. Inhale and imagine the breath expanding into the front, sides, and back of the chest. Feel your rib cage expand.
Continue breathing in this manner 6 more times, counting inhalations and exhalations if you wish.
When you’re done, compare how you felt when you did Belly Breathing with how you felt when you did Chest Breathing.