PRIORITY GIVEN TO EXHALATION
In the act of respiration, Westerners give precedence
to the in-drawing of the breath. Yoga, on the other hand, maintains that
all good respiration begins with a slow and complete exhalation, and that
this perfect exhalation is an absolute prerequisite of correct and complete
inhalation, for the very simple reason that, until a receptacle is emptied,
it cannot be filled.
Unless we first breathe out fully it is impossible
to breathe in correctly.
Normal respiration therefore, begins with a slow calm
exhalation carried out by relaxing of the inspiratory muscles.
The chest is depressed by its own weight, expelling
the air. This out breath must be as silent as every other action involved
in breathing (you should not hear yourself breathe), and because it is silent,
it will also be slow. At the end of the expiration the abdominal muscles
help the lungs to empty to their fullest extent, by means of a contraction
which expels the last traces of tainted air.