Integrating the Breath and the Bandhas

David Procyshyn
Instructor David Procyshyn
Average: 4.9 (60 votes)
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This video, the second in a series of three on core stability, covers the breath and bandhas (deep core locks), which together create stability and strength that you can use in your life and in your yoga practice, no matter what you are doing. Learning how to engage and strengthen the bandhas will allow you to feel a sense of power and lightness in your body, length in your spine and will show you how to practice yoga safely. The first class in this series is The 3-Part Breath and Ujjayi Breathing and the third class is Finding Stability In All Poses. You can also find all three together in our program Establish Your Core Stability and Strength and on our Yoga for Beginners page.

Equipment: None
Style: Gentle Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Pranayama Yoga, Yoga for Anxiety/Stress, Yoga for Back Care


dzuniga 6 months ago

I don't understand how to perform these breaths "without tension in the body" when I am holding a kegel, tensing my abs/abdominal wall, keeping my spine up straight, and pulling my shoulder blades together. Definitely no lightness in the head, only tension. Any advice?

David Procyshyn 6 months ago

Start with one thing at a time. I would suggest beginning with keeping your spine straight and breathing. Keep it simple, focusing on lengthening and lightening the spine (letting it release 'up') while breathing. Once you can do this without added tension, add another aspect - for example, the kegels.
Let me know how it goes!

dzuniga 6 months ago

Thank you very much for your reply! I will try that.

PianoWire 9 months ago

I thought I was doing OK until you asked us to engage shoulder and neck muscles at the same time as core and pelvic floor muscles. I was only able to hold everything for a few seconds. It felt as if there were so many different muscles to try to engage at the same time, each requiring significant effort, that my whole body tensed up. Even my legs were shaking. The only way I could breathe was fast and shallow. Is that normal, or am I doing something wrong?

David Procyshyn 9 months ago

It's normal at the beginning, but with practice - like strengthening any muscles - it will get easier and you will be able to slow your breath down. You're working new muscles, so it makes sense that it feels that way!

sng4ever 1 year ago

A wonderful tutorial on breathing and the bandhas that can help you with yoga and your life. I recommend this for all practitioners. David is great at explaining the bandhas and how to engage them.

kavitadrake 1 year ago

I am always struck by how David radiates kindness in his videos. It is clear he has a heart for teaching, and he has an enthusiasm for wanting to bring beginners gently yet thoroughly into this wonderful world of yoga. Thank you so much!

Dalya 2 years ago

For a long time I had this question "How do I combine full breathing with tucking my belly?". Now I know.
Thank you very much David.

Yogi Paul 2 years ago

I have been practicing yoga for over 15 years and I have always wondered how I should breath and engage my core correctly. Thank you for this video. Now I feel I will be able to practice with more energy with the safety of my correct core engagement.

peppe 2 years ago

Hi David,
Maybe it is stupid question, but I got confused about breathing. You explained the "belly breathing" at the beginning, and then you introduced the concept of bandha, where we don't let the diafram going down (unlike the 3 parts breathing). My question is simple: which one is the right way of breathing during practice? Should I fill up the belly and then up to the ribs and so on...or I should use the bandha and keep the pelvic muscles on...or maybe all together?? Thanks, great video btw ;)