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Sirshasana restricts ‘Chest Breathing’ & instinctively activates ‘Abdominal Breathing’

The practitioners, who have mastered Sirshasana, in its minutest can relate to this title. For the rest, it can remain a captivating dream until they reach the desired pinnacle of precision. Research shows the profound positive impact of ‘Abdominal Breathing’, on our living. Conscious application of this ‘Abdominal Breathing’ seems to be the need of the hour, especially in today’s scenario, as majority of the populace have turned into ‘Shallow Breathers’.

We all know ‘What is Abdominal Breathing’ Abdomen and Breathing – these two simple words can transform your life.  To simplify it further, breathing in and breathing out (inhaling & exhaling) from your abdomen. It would be, however, interesting to learn, how many of you actually pause to check whether you do breathe from your abdomen. It would also be interesting to contemplate, if at all, you had been able to notice the exact transitional phase from ‘abdominal breather’ to ‘shallow breather’. Humans are born abdominal breathers but gradually, over the years, turn into shallow breathers. Look at the breathing pattern of a new born and you can authenticate the above. Sirshasan automatically regulates ‘Abdominal Breathing’ There are many yogic practices which can channelize our energies towards abdominal breathing. But, there are some specific practices which work only on ‘Abdominal Breathing’ as the nature of that practice automatically restricts chest breathing. Sirshasan is one such practice which not only makes the optimal use of the diaphragm but also is one of the best training asana for abdominal and diaphragmatic breathing. This alone should be a single driving force to include Sirshasan as an integral part of your daily practice. How? As we lengthen the body by activating anti-gravity muscles in Sirshasana, the thoracic area (scapula, latissimus dorsi, pectoralis muscles) needs to be constantly in a lengthened position to maintain the upright position. This isometric contraction holds the rib cage, as well as, the intercostal muscles very much in an immobilized position, so that, unnecessary pressure and movement can be checked in the neck area and the chances of injury in that area can be ruled out. As a result of this, abdominal breathing becomes the only naturally available option whereas chest breathing becomes an almost impossible task. Regular Sirshasana practice can discard the habit of chronic chest breathing, strengthen diaphragm (one of the important muscles of respiration) which has lost its optimal capacity due to shallow breathing and help one restore one’s breathing to its genesis. In fact, I will go a step further to state that conscious ‘Abdominal Breathing’ alone is capable of keeping ‘Stress’ of your life at bay as it comes with an inbuilt feature of being ‘slow in speed’ & ‘deep in reach’. Test Time: place your palm on your abdomen, let it expand out to the highest as you inhale and allow it to gradually get into the spine as you exhale. Repeat for 10 rounds 3 times a day. Share your experience with us.

Discover Yoga Discover YourselfFor any query, write to “Ask Shammi” on For other blogs on related subject, check

Shammi Gupta, founder of Shammi’s Yogalaya holds an MA in Yoga Shastra, is a certified Yogic Therapist and Naturopath, has completed an Advanced Yoga Course and holds a Diploma in Yoga Education from Mumbai University. She is a certified trainer from American College of Sports Medicine and holds an MBA in HR & MBA in Finance from The University of Akron, Ohio, USA. She conducts Health Awareness Workshops for Corporate, Yogasana Workshops for Athletes and Yoga Therapy Workshops on different medical issues for patients. Among the celebrities Shammi trains are eminent personalities from the film and television industry and corporate world.

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