Complete Breath Standing mini-lesson with Lee

For this mini-lesson we will pay attention to The Complete Breath Standing. The room should be well ventilated and quiet. Soft, gentle music playing in the background is okay.

It is strongly advised to never practice on a full stomach. Please wait at least 90 minutes after having eaten a full meal. And always be sure to check with your physician to make sure these exercises are okay for you.

Complete Breath Standing

Let us now begin. Standing with feet together, slowly raise your arms while simultaneously inhaling and lifting your heels to stand on your toes. If you have trouble standing on your toes you may keep your heels down. Continue the inhalation, and raise your arms until your hands touch overhead. Hold to the count of five.

Hatha Yoga standing breath modifiedSlowly exhale as you lower your arms and rest on the soles of your feet. Continue a deep exhalation until your abdomen is contracted entirely. Allow yourself to feel completely relaxed, without tensing any muscles. Let your standing body feel limp as the deep exhalation is complete.

Begin the inhalation and body movements again. Perform the Complete Breath Standing three times. Then shake out your body and relax. These movements are more like a dance than an exercise, so keep that in mind as you perform them.


This is a highly revitalizing series of movements since the entire body is involved. The touching of the palms overhead automatically causes the shoulders to be raised, and the inhalation is completed at that point.

Your elbows can be held straight with the hands in a  symmetrical position directly overhead, and standing on your toes completes the dance-like attitude. The feeling is one of “growing” or “blooming” such as you would envision the growth of a flower. However in the exhalation of the Complete Breath, the opposite feeling (withering) are the body movements of deep exhalation.


Inspiration without perspiration

A trusty standby I’ve relied on over the years for exercises such as the Complete Breath has been the classic guide “Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Program”. His teachings are what helped me get started with yoga in the first place. I believe the book is out of print, but you can usually find a used copy.

The Complete Breath exercises can be done just about anywhere without much exertion when you need a little boost. As the stagnant breath is emptied and renewed, you will be feeling more energetic and balanced with a clear mind, all while strengthening the entire body. Practice the Complete Breath each day.


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