As a baby the first act upon leaving the womb is to take a deep breath. From the dawn of our birth until the sunset of death, we breathe, always and everywhere. Indeed, breath defines the very life we lead by creating a foundation of vitality and creativity in all aspects of our being: mind, body, and spirit. Our thoughts, ideas, feelings, and emotions are reflected in the motion and energy level in our own breath. A great sage once said, “Breath is life and life is breath. There is no difference between the two.”
I practice Kundalini Yoga because I believe in the inherent power of my own breath. Nothing in my life has enhanced and elevated me as much as my own breath. It has lead me to my Truth.
I spent my youth seeking happiness outside of myself. My experience with outside substances, aside from the temporary feel-good, was always followed by a steep decline in my mood, health, and overall well-being. I know what depression feels like. I’ve lived with high anxiety and stress. I’ve been subject to low energy and deep tiredness and constant fatigue.
So my life journey lead me inwards for answers to better manage my energy. I educated myself in both western and eastern practices. I came to understand that happiness is my birthright. Therefore my thought that if happiness is already here and present, and for me to fully experience my Truth, then the answers I seek in my life, must be within me too.
The beauty of these experiences is that they have lead me to learn, practice, and experience the power of my own breath. The breathing techniques of Kundalini Yoga are part of a centuries old technology. This “science of breath” was taught to me over a 40 year period. Over this period of time, I discovered the profound and lasting effects of conscious breathing (long deep breathing with intentional awareness of my breath). I experimented, I practiced, and soon experienced what breath can really do…….it changes the way I feel about myself and the world around me. Breath gives me choice. Choice over my mood. Choice over my energy level. Choice over my mental state.
Here’s a simple exercise: Long Deep Breathing. Come sitting straight up in a chair, put your hand on your belly and take a long deep breath in through your nose. As you inhale your belly should relax and expand. As the breath comes in, the trunk of your body will feel a bit like a pitcher of water, as the breath comes in, you will feel like water filling a pitcher. The breath will first fill your belly, then move up into the ribcage, and then into the higher areas of your lungs. Breathe deeper than normal so that the entire rib cage is used and lifts several inches on the inhale. As you exhale, pull the belly in to push the breath out. Breathe through your nose in both directions, both on the inhale and the exhale. Consciously follow the flow of the breath as it comes in and goes out. Conscious breathing simply means being aware of your breath as it comes in, and as it goes out. Continue for 3 minutes. Then inhale and hold for 10-15 seconds. Exhale and relax.
Now, this is important…………with your eyes closed, sit still for a moment, and experience how you feel. Check in with the three aspects of yourself: your mind…….your body…….your spirit………
You may be surprised to find an expanded awareness of yourself. There’s more to you than you think!
See You in class,