Posted by on 5/29/2021 to Let's Talk Yoga!
Sama Vritti Pranayama (Equal Breath): What Is Sama Vritti Breathing
Are you looking for an easy way to release tension after a stressful day?
Do you need a break to regain focus? Is there something wrong with you?
Very well, then square breathing is for you: you just need your mind, your breath and a few minutes.
Sama vritti Pranayama, also called "Square Breathing", comes from the Sanskrit "sama" which means equal and "vritti" which means "movements or fluctuations".
It is a breathing capable of lightening and relaxing the flow of thoughts that populate our mind, and it succeeds by favoring concentration on a series of imaginary movements - or fluctuations, or constructions - that help us to put order in the chaos.
Square breathing also has other benefits:
It has a calming action on the nervous system;
Helps to deal with difficult and demanding situations;
Regulates blood pressure and heartbeat;
Strengthens the immune system;
It is useful for fighting insomnia.
As with all or almost all Pranayama practices, the ideal would be to perform it in a comfortable position, with legs crossed, and with a straight back.
How you do Sama Vritti breathing?
The main characteristic of square breathing consists in imagining drawing a square with the mind, and combining the "construction" of each side with a breath, maintaining the inhalation, exhalation, and the two for the same amount of time.
It does not matter if the duration of the sides of your square is 2, 3 or 4 seconds, what matters is to find your own breathing rhythm and maintain it throughout the exercise.
However, avoid turning your squares into trapezoids.
Do you want to try?
• Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position,
• Relax your hands on your knees and start listening to your spontaneous breathing,
• Do a few cycles of full yogic breathing. Inhaling deeply and exhaling completely.
• Then, as you inhale, measure the duration of your breath and imagine that you are drawing one side of a square;
• Holding your breath, draw the second side of the square;
• Exhaling, draw the third side;
• Holding your breath, draw the fourth side.
You should feel the sensation of being able to continue this practice indefinitely, without fatigue. As soon as you realize that you can no longer maintain balance with the rhythm of breathing, stop the practice without going further.
If you have a hard time holding your breath pauses, you can turn squares into rectangles! For example, inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 2, exhale for 4, hold for 2.
Keep drawing the squares until you get bored… but try to get to at least four.
A few minutes of practice is usually enough to calm the mind.
Remember not to be in a hurry to finish, and that it is always better to make 2 squares well done than ten without concentration.
During pregnancy you should avoid doing breath retention, so you are pregnant, well, first of all congratulations, and then know that you can still do it but avoid holding your breath.
Then proceed to draw your squares by inhaling for 2, 3 or more breaths and exhaling for the same amount of time. It still works!
There are many variations that you can do combined with this breathing.
For example, you can draw the squares starting once clockwise and once counterclockwise, or you can imagine drawing the square once in one color, and once in another, or each side in a different color ... use your creativity to create your squares.
If you want you can also associate the breathing times to the heartbeat, even if you must already have developed a certain familiarity in knowing how to listen to be able to hear it.
If you want an idea you can use the image above; start by inhaling to the right, color the side of the square in pink; hold your breath and color yellow, exhaling color green, hold your breath coloring purple! How cool is that?