Yoga tells us that our breath is key to self-healing – if you take anything from these teachings, take conscious breathing! It’s the simplest route to release stress and toxins. It balances and strengthens our nervous system, enabling our capacity to respond to stressful situations. Plus it revitalises us and feeds our cells with prana/life force/O2. So bin the beta-blockers, ditch the anti-ageing face cream and focus on breathing consciously instead – it’s free!
Here is a basic self-healing pranayama exercise I truffled out from KRI Level 2 Vitality & Stress manual, p76. The whole sequence takes 45 minutes, and left me me feeling expansive, energised, complete and crystal clear – a goodie to practice on Winter Solstice as it feels so light and bright!
You’ll be surprised at how quick 31 minutes of Breath Of Fire (31 minutes of Breath Of Fire?!??!) passes – it was just enough to scan my entire body and I wanted more! Absolutely wonderful. And if you’re straining to stretch your breath to 20 secs in the one-minute breath, just count 15-15-15 or whatever feels right. No need to strain. So here goes with the instructions from the manual…
‘Breath is the way. As simple as it is, it grabs the nervous system and reshapes it. The effects are very quick. Let us practice two breaths that are central to our revitalisation strategies: Breath of Fire and the One Minute Breath… Let’s do them in an advanced meditation to heal and revitalize our body and emotions.
1 Breath Of Fire
Sit straight in any meditative pose with spine erect and pelvis balanced. Close your eyes. Begin a classic breath of fire at the pace of 120 times a minute. As you become steady and relaxed, and the rhythm becomes a flow of distinct pulsations, begin to scan the body.
Go through each area of the body very professionally. Be alert and precise. See each slice of the body, every cell and structure. Go steadily with patience and appreciation for the gift of the body. Your attention will automatically guide the prana of the breath to each cell. Cover every tissue from toe tip to top of the head. Stay centered and aware. As the flow of energy becomes established and your aura brightens and extends, visualize light pouring from every pore of the body, extending without limit in all directions.
Take your time and be absolutely thorough.
After 31 minutes, inhale deeply, hold briefly and let the breath naturally relax.
Repeat twice more.
Sit still and thoughtless for a few minutes.
2 Now begin the One Minute Breath
20 seconds inhale 20 seconds suspend 20 seconds exhale.
Watch the breath. Be aware that you are aware of the breath. Breathe for 11 minutes, and let your mind be still before you. Allow yourself to delight in the vast readiness of your mind. Receive any thought or intention that comes to you. Be alert and relaxed. Then inhale and stretch up, shake out.’
Sat nam x