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Free Downloadable Yoga Class Handout: Extended Exhalation


This is 1 of 250+ yoga class handouts included in the Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit.   I created and used it for my own yoga class.

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Extended Exhalation Handout | MS Word Version

Extended Exhalation Handout | MAC Version

Extended Exhalation Handout | ODT Version

Extended Exhalation Handout | PDF Version


Use The Handouts

  • As a teaching aid for your classes
  • As handouts for your classes
  • As a template for your own handouts

Handout Contents

Here’s what’s in the handout…

The Hidden Power Of The Extended Out-breath

This week’s breathing exercise (Pranayama) – Extended Exhalation

Here is a breathing practice that will help develop awareness and quiet the mind

Step 1: Watch

Begin by watching the natural breath without attempting to control it. Let the breath come and go (as it was doing before you started to think about it). As it flows, notice what areas of the body are involved automatically with breathing. Does the abdomen expand and contract as the breath comes and goes? Do the sides of the rib cage move? What about the shoulders? What about the chest?  When you feel relaxed, you are ready to begin consciously controlling the breath.

Step 2: 2:1 ratio

The goal is to extend the exhalation until it is twice as long in duration as the in-breath.  Stop if there is any lightheadedness or dizziness. This is a signal of fatigue in the body.  Let the breath flow out evenly and steadily for three or four or five seconds and let the in-breath take half that time, two-three seconds. In the beginning, it may not even be possible to get a 2:1 ratio. That’s OK. Work toward a twice as long exhale.  Let the practice build with time.  Do not work on extending for longer than twice the inhale.

Step 3: Pay attention

Pay attention to how each part of the body feels during the practice. If the body starts to tense up or tighten anywhere this is a signal that you are trying too hard.  Let the practice be rhythmic and steady. Let yourself relax in a comfortable position while practicing this technique.

Step 4: Extend

When you succeed in finding a comfortable ratio then begin extending the length of time of your practice session. As the practice develops, people find that the lung capacity naturally deepens with time. You may notice that doing two seconds in and four seconds out will grow to three seconds in with five or six seconds out, and eventually, to longer durations that maintain the 1:2 ratio.

Step 5: How long?

Try it initially for two or three minutes. If it feels easy do for 5 or 10 minutes twice a day. You can also practice this breath as a focus for meditation for up to an hour.

Yoga Class Handouts

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George Watts

BWY Yoga Teacher at George Watts Yoga
This post was lovingly morphed into reality by BWY yoga teacher, George Watts. If you're looking for a treasure trove of yoga lesson planning goodness, take a quick peek at Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit.

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