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Lot of gurus preach to take breath in chest, in this process chest will expand and stomach will shrink while inhaling. They give reason that lungs have oxygen absorbing capacity so we should breath to lungs/chest.

And lot of other gurus preach to take breath in stomach, in this process stomach will expand while inhaling. They give reason that stomach breath is natural as all new born child do stomach breath so we should also.

And lot of other gurus preach that one should not guide breath, breath itself will find its way so we should not worry about chest breath or stomach breath. They ask to just pay attention to breath.

Which one is correct way of breathing and why?

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  • Neither chest, nor stomach. Only nasal passage.
    – Love Bites
    Aug 21, 2020 at 15:56
  • @LoveBites: How should I do deep breathing which is required in Bhastrika pranayama?
    – Alok
    Aug 24, 2020 at 4:31
  • Observe a new born child and see how he/she breathes through the stomach and not through chest, that's the way we all should breathe consciously.
    – Just_Do_It
    Jan 13, 2021 at 13:04

2 Answers 2

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I know very well about these gurus. Everyone tells their own formula of breathing.

Rather than these movements(of chest and stomach), what one needs to concentrate on is the air/energy currents flowing within. If you really want to concentrate on something then concentrate on your spinal cord. That is the path through which energy flows through.

Rather than focusing on number of seconds for inhaling, holding breath and exhaling, one should focus on making this breathing spontaneously. Don't make your mind busy in counting numbers or seconds.

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  • focusing on spine would be good but how should I breath? in chest or in tommy? or no need to worry about breath?
    – Alok
    Dec 21, 2019 at 14:41
  • If you are fat, and you can make your tommy flat. That signifies you have control on your tommy. In that case you should use your tommy to breath. If you have no control on your tommy, then use chest. That is the precise reason. After the whole practice one should have control on senses, that is the motive. Dec 22, 2019 at 14:23
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    can you pls add sources?
    – YDS
    Dec 23, 2019 at 14:22
  • I don't want to know who has down voted my answer. But if you want sources, go and find them at your own risk. The answer I have posted is from self experience. Yoga is the science of a human being's existence. I never needed sources to find base of so many complex things. Once you find something you should compare it with sources. Whether you have something to add to it? Go find some guru that you think you can trust and rely. I don't think there is any need of sources to my answer. Believe it if you want to go further or just leave if you have no trust. Dec 25, 2019 at 10:08
  • People need sources about how to breath that is big hypocrisy of the society. A Gopal living on mountain is more wiser than the self proclaimed Pandits and Gurus(?). In stead of wasting time on things like these, go and chant God's name. That is most brilliant way to perform yoga. What you get on this path is all about how consistent you are. Dec 25, 2019 at 10:18
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Meditation and Yoga are very diverse subjects to have a lot of detailed discussions on breath control, awareness, and techniques. While it is not possible to tell you which method is the correct method to observe breath, as what is correct for you, might not be correct for the others. Drawing of breath on various parts of the body is one of the common methods in Kundalini Yoga and Kriya Yoga (the latter is a more efficient method for the former usually).

In Samkhya interpretation, one static aspect (or masculine) is usually denoted with prakriti and the other force (also called life-force) as prana - the force that animates the Prakriti (for example - body and soul)[1].

It is important to note that breath is not itself a prana, but rather it is a carrier of prana that is used to activate various modes (also called Nadis [2]) in the subtile body.

In Kriya Yoga, different practices of breathing and different forms of breathing are taught to the students for different purposes - relaxation, calmness, cultivating humility, etc depending on what Nadis are activated.

In general, too much inward breath should be avoided as it might arouse of Kundalini Life force - when uncontrolled without any guru or third person by your side at the moment might land one in the hospital. A gentle drawing of prana from the chest and mind is recommended as a preparation for any other meditation. In case you are unsure about the technique, one can just focus on breathing on the nostrils - which is a very good general method accepted in both Hinduism as well as Buddhism.

These subjects are often under pranayama yoga where the whole purpose is to control the prana for various purposes.


  1. Vivekananda, Swami. Raja Yoga (Annotated Edition). Jazzybee Verlag, 2012.
  2. Nadis are branching points (or petals) of chakra. The exact number of Nadis differs from school to school and scripture to scripture. Usually 72,000, but the number 108 most important ones are accepted by both Hindus and Buddhists.

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