Wednesday, November 12, 2014

" Pranayama ... "

I'm finding my way back to sanity again
Though I don't really know what
I'm going to do when I get there
Take a breath and hold on tight
Spin around one more time
And gracefully fall back to the arms of Grace

~ Lifehouse ~ Breathing ~

Breathing is a necessity we dont’ really think about on a moment to moment basis.  But the more thought we do put into our breath, we can get more out of it than we realize.  Pranayama deep breathing is a way to restore imbalances within us.

Pranayama is the art and science of yogic breathing techniques ...

Our conscious life begins with our first breath and ends with our last.  We can correspond patterns of breathing with every emotional state we experience.  The word “inspiration” itself refers to both the act of breathing in as well as the state of being filled with spirit and energy.

“Pranayama” is a Sanskrit word made up of two halves, “prana” and “yama” (or “ayama”), and is most often translated to mean “mastery of the life force”, or sometimes, 
“removal of obstacles to free the flow of life force.”

In ancient times, it was believed that many dis-eases were connected to disturbed nasal breathing, as our nose is directly linked to our brain and nervous system.  And breathing from the left nostril versus the right nostril provides different benefits ... the left is for calming whereas the right is for energy.  For thousands of years, it was believed that through your left nostril will access the right “feeling” hemisphere of your brain, and breathing in through your right nostril, will access the left “thinking” hemisphere of your brain.  Hence, alternating your breath between either nostril will  allow you to activate and access your whole brain.

“ ... in yoga, the life force, known as prana, refers to the energy that animates, controls, and permeates the world in and around us. Digesting our food, changing our heart rate in response to exercise, and fighting off infections are all highly complex and variable tasks, yet each of them happen spontaneously, effortlessly, and automatically through the functions of prana. This same force is behind great migrations, the interdependence of species, and the changing of seasons ... “

From my own experience, pranayama breathing is one of the most therapeutic calming rituals by revitalizing you, providing clarity in thoughts, cleaning lungs and organs, slowing the mind, clearing energy channels, merging of left and right brains and encouraging and overall calmer emotional state.  

Caution: Consult with your practitioner FIRST.  More advanced methods of pranayama (alternate nostril breathing) need to be practiced with an experienced practitioner.   Practicing on an empty stomach is preferred.

Incorporating a form of breath-work in your daily life ... via yoga, meditation, etc has infinite rewards.  Breath, movement and energy is life and life is breath, movement and energy.  This ancient yogic practice combines theses into an integrative experience, once tried, may become a part of your every day life too ...

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