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Using Yoga To Breathe

Last week, I wrote about holding our breath and learning to breathe again. The healing of my breathing patterns has been dramatically advanced by my Kundalini Yoga practice. While the healing of breath through Kundalini Yoga is a journey that will certainly last a lifetime, I want to offer to a few puzzle pieces that have been particularly powerful for me.

Conscious Breathing – Just be still for a moment and notice your breath. What’s happening within your body? Are your inhalations and exhalations balanced? Are you using your nose or mouth to breathe? Do your shoulders move? Your chest? Your belly? Do you hold your breath? Are you breathing fast or slow?

And from Shakti Parwha Kaud Khalsa’s, “Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power: A Simple Guide to the Yoga of Awareness,” I offer the following treasures:.

Long Deep Breathing – You can use Long Deep Breathing as a guided mediation for many aspects of self-healing. Chose your own list of qualities to meditate on and consciously receive and accept whatever concept you choose with each inhalation. Then release, or let go of that opposite quality with each exhalation. For example:

INHALE                   EXHALE

health                        disease

strength                    weakness

energy                       fatigue

faith                           fear

peace                         tension

It seems so simple, but believe me, it works! You already have that infinite creative flow of eternal power within you. This is one way to use it. Keep remembering that breath is life, and therefore breath can rejuvenate and regenerate.

Linking The Breath With Mantra - One of the simplest but nevertheless most powerful ways to meditate on the breath is to think the sound “SAT” with every inhalation and think the sounds “NAM” with every exhalation. Hear the syllables in your mind. ( Suuuuuuuuut… rhymes with “but,” Naaaaaaaam, rhymes with “calm.”) Mentally create these sounds. Take your time. Take 10 long, deep full breaths, meditating on each breath with the infinite sound of SAT NAM . (SAT NAM instantly attunes us to our highest Self.

Lastly, I offer you the One-Minute Breath. This was really hard for me at first but I can actually do it now. It is very calming and centering. I highly recommend it. Breathe in for 20 seconds, hold the breath in for 20 seconds, and then breathe out for 20 seconds. I can’t imagine that breathing at this slowed down pace is anyone’s nature so be gentle with yourself while your body is getting used to it. It’s all about slooooowing down, the breath first and the life follows.

And then there’s the beast, the game-changer, the most healing and transformative breath of all – Breath of Fire! Next time, my friends… Until then, try these techniques and let me know what you think. Also, feel free to leave your ideas, suggestions, and questions in the comment below or contact me directly through my website (below).

Image Credit: madpai via Flickr

Related:
Train Your Breath, Change Your Life
Choosing a Yoga Style
Why I Love Yoga

Read more: Global Healing, Health, Mental Wellness, Self-Help, Spirit, Yoga, , , , , , ,

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Christy Diane Farr

Christy Diane Farr is a catalyst. If that sounds like something you want more of in your life, visit 'The Greenhouse' at SeedsAndWeedsCoaching.com and join the Wildflower Evolution on Facebook.

34 comments

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5:36PM PDT on Aug 17, 2011

thanks for the article!

12:56PM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

Inspiring - thank you. I'd already planned to tackle some changes from tomorrow, so I think I'll start my own 40 day journey, even if yoga and breathing is only a small part of it.

6:37PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

I am a yoga teacher & blog about health.
http://fit-twist.blogspot.com

6:04AM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

Thanks for sharing - there is a whole host of yogic breathing exercises collectively called 'pranayama' - look them up, they have a very wide range of health benefits! As for the Kundalini Yoga, I'm thinking of starting it - I recently got a DVD with the various exercises and it looks very interesting. I am used to a different type of yoga so this is probably going to be challenging...

6:30PM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

At last - Yoga that does not make arthritic joints scream in pain! Thanks!

3:12PM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

Excellent info Christy, thanks!~

9:56AM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

Thank you very much for this article, I can't wait to start!!

9:02AM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

8:52AM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

THANKS

3:47AM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

Thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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