ExerciseWhen it comes to feeling better and being healthier, one easy way to do both is exercise. However, many people today are more focused on gym time and that type of exercise rather than just exercise at home. For some reason, going for a run or a bike ride doesn't seem as natural anymore. You may have even stopped doing yoga because you don't want to do the same old thing. But yoga exercise is an option that should definitely be considered and there are many benefits to be gained from doing it on a regular basis. Three Pillar Breath (Dirga Pranayama), also known as Concentration of Breath, is possibly one of the best grounding exercises you can do. It is a powerful yet simple technique to help center your thoughts and get yourself in touch with your breath awareness. In yoga terms it's called "pausing the breath". By pausing the breath you open up space within your body between thoughts, emotions and physical tension. It is this space that can fill with more health-giving energy. By learning to breathe more deeply with this simple yoga exercise, you'll find yourself less stressed and more aware of the world around you. This technique is so simple, even kids can perform it. Begin by holding your breath as long as possible. As soon as you feel yourself starting to breathe faster, immediately bring your breath back to the abdomen. Try not to mix up the order or pace of the breaths. Simply breathe deeply and with conscious breathing to release any tension or tightness in your muscles from the shoulders all the way down to the feet. Next, simply move from exhalation to inhalation. Exhale steadily while breathing normally. Inhale as you would for a normal breathing technique except that you will hold your breath for a few seconds before letting it go. You can then move on to exhalation, repeating this process two times. Repeat this inhalation/exhale pattern up to ten times without taking in anything else. The next step is to focus on your nose. Breathe deeply and slowly through your nose while looking up from the ceiling and towards the palms of your hands. As you are focusing on your nose, gently blow into it. Do this with your mouth as well, but do it consciously and completely as you would with your nose. For the final step, simply return to your original sitting position and begin to breathe in very deeply. As you breathe in, slowly blow out through your nose in the same manner that you took in. While inhaling and exhaling, keep your head straight. Continue this exercise until you have mastered it. Remember that this exercise is great for toning your abdominal muscles and for improving your lung capacity. However, you must always remember to breathe only through your nose. If you have difficulty breathing correctly while sitting still, practice by using a handkerchief or a facecloth to cover your nose and exhale completely through it. This is particularly important if you have congestion in your lower lungs. Breathe deeply through the mouth as well, but do not allow any excess air to escape. When you begin to feel comfortable with this new way of breathing, you can progress to exhalation and then to breathing through your nose more deeply. At this point, you should increase both the speed and the volume of your breathing, increasing it one-step at a time. When you complete one exercise, you can then move on to the next. Try practicing this new technique twice a day, and see just how this can help you in your overall fitness goals. You might be surprised at just how much further you can push yourself when you incorporate an exercise such as this one into your daily yoga routine.