Clavicular breathing is the final stage of total ribcage expansion. It occurs after the thoracic inhalation has been completed. In order to absorb a little more air into the lungs, the upper ribs and the collar bone are pulled upwards by the muscles of the neck, throat and sternum. This requires maximum expansion on inhalation and only the upper lobes of the lungs are ventilated. In daily life, clavicular breathing is only used under conditions of extreme physical exertion and when experiencing obstructive airway diseases such as asthma.
How to do clavicular breathing
- Lie in shavasana and relax the whole body.
- Maintain unbroken awareness of the natural breath for some time, concentrating on the sides of the chest. Perform thoracic breathing for a few minutes.
- Inhale, fully expanding the rib cage.
- When the ribs are fully expanded, inhale a little more until expansion is felt in the upper portion of the lungs around the base of the neck. The shoulders and collarbone should also move up slightly.
- This will take some effort.
- Exhale slowly, first releasing the lower neck and upper chest, then relaxing the rest of the ribcage back to its starting position.
- Continue for a few more breaths, observing the effect of this type of breathing.
- Relax any effort and once again watch the spontaneous breathing pattern.
- Bring the awareness back to observing the physical body as a whole.
- Be aware of the surroundings and gently open the eyes.
Preparatory Practice for PranayamaClavicular Breathing is a preparatory practice in Pranayama. It is among the 5 preparatory practices.
- Natural breathing
- Abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing
- Thoracic breathing
- Clavicular breathing
- Yogic breathing
Types of Pranayamas
- Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Psychic network purification)
- Sheetali Pranayama (Cooling breath)
- Sheetkari Pranayama (Hissing breath)
- Bhramari Pranayama (Humming bee breath)
- Ujjayi Pranayama (The psychic breath)
- Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows breath)
- Kapalbhati Pranayama (Frontal brain cleansing breath)
- Moorchha Pranayama (Swooning or fainting breath)
- Surya Bhedi Pranayama (Vitality stimulating breath)