This day lands softly on the heels of a holiday Monday in August. Today was a practice in “breeeaaathing”. An amazing array of ways to bring breath to yoga postures, Pranayama. Learning the Ujjayi (oooh ja ee), the whisper breath to bring about meditation by sounding the air through our throat like the waves cresting on the ocean. Then... the interesting, yet very centering Anuloma Viloma, the breath of balancing the left and right sides of the brain. Lots of counting and lots of intricate hand gestures to bring us into a deep meditative practice.
When we live our lives day in and day out, how often do we count our breaths? how often do you even remember that you are breathing. It’s something that we all do automatically... until we think about. Our breath connects us to our core... connects us to our roots... connects us to our - selves.
In doing the Asanas (yoga poses) I have discovered the cadence of the breath is a very core part of the postures. As long as our breath is steady and focused, our mind and our body will follow. As my teacher, Shakti Mhi, puts it... if we are not breathing, we are not doing yoga. We expend Prana (life force energy) when we hold our breath in where it is straining on our bodies. Freely moving the breath allows us to expand our consciousness outside of ourselves... making us bigger than ourselves... yet taking us to the very core ... the smallest particle of our existence.
Prana is a part of the oxygen that we breath and when we move into nature or into a space such as a yoga studio or place of worship (yes, even religious spaces carry a lot of Prana... the main reason being that when people are in these spaces.... they are in a space of peace and love... what they do outside of the space... that’s another story). We are charged with Prana in so many spaces, it becomes a matter of connecting with the energy that surrounds us. Like a radio station being picked up by a transistor radio... our bodies, when attuned and know what to sense and look for, can be tuned into the energy signals of Prana. I have studied this in various forms... Reiki, Chi, Kei... or even the way it’s referred to in Star Wars as The Force. Each of us is a Jedi Knight perched on the edge of expanding into something bigger than the Universe.
... enjoy your breath... connect to your Prana. ... and breeeaaathe.