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:
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