Dirga Pranayama (Three-Part or Complete Breath): Dirga Breathing Done Right!

by | Meditate, Mindful Breathing, Mindfulness, Yoga

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Dirga Pranayama | (Dirga Breathing) | Three-Part Breath:

Dirga pranayama is a yogic breathing exercise that involves filling the lungs as much as possible, essentially using 3 parts of your abdomen. The term comes from Sanskrit, dirgha, which means “long”. Prana, which means “vital force”. Yama, which means “restriction,” or ayama, which means “extend” or “withdraw.”

Dirgha pranayama can also be called complete breathing, yogic breathing, or three-part breathing, in English.

It is the most basic of yogic breathing exercises. One in which other breathing practices are based.
To practice dirgha pranayama, sit in a comfortable posture or position with a straight spine, and a relaxed abdomen. The aim is a complete filling of the lungs. Attempt to use muscles in the pelvis to the shoulders when inhaling. Consequently, the lungs will then empty in reverse order.

Oftentimes, deep breathing consists of taking an inhalation in 3, and an exhalation in 6, doubling the inhalation duration on exhalation. Dirga Pranayama will allow you to expand your lung capacity and increase oxygenation.

It’s touted by many to bring a sense of peace, mental clarity, and vitality. This type of breathing is often referenced as grounding, allowing one to focus on the present moment. Oftentimes, a yoga class begins with dirga breathing.

Importance of Deep Breathing For the Body:

Generally, deep breathing brings a host of potential benefits. Physiologically, it helps to maximize oxygenation, gas exchange and release CO2. In addition, it helps lower heart rate, blood pressure and even stress levels.

Therefore, involving yourself in practices in which deep breathing is a priority, you may experience acute and long term stress relief. It may also be a means to lower symptoms of stress in acute times of need.

Importantly, we know stress plays a major role in long term health. For example;

Here’s The Process Of Dirga Pranayama:


  1. Firstly, lets talk positioning. Sit upright, spine, neck and head erect. Place your hands on your chest to feel air as it enters and exits the body;
  2. Initially, use your hands as a guide. Provide light pressure to both sides of the rib cage;
  3. Exhale, freeing the lungs of old air;
  4. The exhalation should last twice as long as the inhalation. If we inhale for 3 seconds, we exhale for the duration of 6 seconds. To facilitate the slowing of exhalation, we can rest the chin towards the sternum.
  5. After exhaling, try to resist inhaling again, until the physiological stimulus of inhalation appears, so that the lungs fill up spontaneously. The inspiration must be as deep as possible.
  6. It begins by filling the abdomen.
  7. Then gradually expanding and filling the rib cage, from the lowest to the highest portion. Afterwards, attempt to sip the last bit of air into the upper chest.
  8. Hold the breath for a few seconds. Then, exhale completely, focusing on the expulsion of air that will start from the upper part of the lungs, to the base, and ultimately towards the abdomen.

Final Thoughts!

Dirga breathing is an excellent place to start for all beginners. It’s easy to explain and execute. In addition, will help build a foundation for further techniques.


  • https://www.uchealth.org/today/understanding-breathing-and-the-importance-of-taking-a-deep-breath/#:~:text=Deep%20breaths%20are%20more%20efficient,to%20sit%20or%20lie%20down.
  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you use them to purchase items, then we may earn a small commission. Hope you find something that you like!
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