Breath Guidelines for All Poses

Inhalation should be performed when:

  • Opening, unfolding, or expanding the outer body
  • Lengthening and extending the spine Opening the arms to the sides or overhead Coming out of forward bends or lateral standing poses
    • Going up into a pose against gravity
    • Bringing lightness to a pose, e.g., jumping into Uttanasana from Adho
  • Mukha Svanasana, and going up into a hand-balancing pose.


Exhalation should be performed when:

  • Closing, enfolding, or flexing the outer body
  • Softening the organs
  • Bringing the arms into the midline
  • Going into forward bends or lateral standing poses
  • Releasing down with gravity

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