The breath is essential because it is the cells that desire the breath(PRANAYAMA)…& when air enters the body it takes various paths through the body; moving through different passages, chambers, tubes, organs, and gradually off into smaller and smaller tributaries(a stream that flows into a large stream or other body of water) until it reaches our cells.
Cells need energy, and they get it from the nutrients we consume, through a constant supply of oxygen. Oxygen rides on the back of.the hemoglobin in our blood, until it reaches tiny thin-walled capillaries. It is at this level of the capillaries that oxygen is given up into the tissue, and exchanged for carbon dioxide. This deoxygenated blood flows back through the veins, traveling into larger and larger blood vessels until it reaches where once again it is pumped into the lungs to receive new oxygen.
Now consider it takes seven years for all the cells in your bodies to regenerate, and that every 363 days every ten billion trillion atoms are regenerated in your body…hmmh and to consider that atoms produces molecules, molecules produce cells, cells produce tissues, tissues make up organs, and organs the organ system (small/large intestines, liver, kidney, ecetera…), and organ system the organism (human body)……almost a new atom every day, we are walking possibilities of newness – and it is excellent soil for what we call miracles, magic, and mystery to manifest into.
Now consider like the human body that the spirit, soul, mind, and emotional bodies for the sake of conversation have similar levels of connective intricacies all working together for the betterment and greater good of all our parts that make us us.This awareness and commitment to breathing into ourselves with focus intentions will further develop one’s personal, and our collective consciousness, resulting in each of us taking responsibility for the energies we bring into any space, while holding space for and in the best possibilities available for ourselves at every stage of our lives...
Remember that the breath (PRANAYAMA) means:
PRANA - LIFE FORCE AYAMA - LENGTHENING
Hence by intentionally focusing our breathing we are lengthening our life force; the energy given to us that is the source of all things being human/living.
TIP: Alternate Nostrils Breathing
This type of breathing has to beneficial aspects; cool/calming the body & warming the body.
Nadi (channel) Shodhana(cleaning, purifying)
= cleaning, purifying
Nadi Shodhana, or “alternate nostril breathing,” is a simple yet powerful technique that settles the mind, body, and emotions.
You can use it to quiet your mind before beginning a meditation practice, and it is particularly helpful to ease racing thoughts if you are experiencing anxiety, stress, or having trouble falling asleep.
There are several different styles of Nadi Shodhana, but they all serve the purpose of creating balance and regulating the flow of air through your nasal passages. In fact, the term Nadi Shodhana means “clearing the channels of circulation.”
Benefits of Alternate Nostril Breathing:
With just a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing, you can restore balance and ease in the mind and body. Sometimes when we feel frazzled or find ourselves doing too many things at once, it’s because energetically, we are out of alignment.
This breath is great for restoring that necessary balance. In addition to calming the mind and reversing stress, alternate nostril breathing also:
• Improves our ability to focus the mind
• Supports our lungs and respiratory functions
• Restores balance in the left and right hemispheres of the brain, and clears the energetic channels
• Rejuvenates the nervous system
• Removes toxins
• Settles stress
Whether you’re nervous about a project or presentation, anxious about a conversation, or just generally stressed out, Nadi Shodhana is a quick and calming way to bring you back to your center. If you find it difficult to settle into your meditations, try moving through a few rounds first, then remain seated and shift directly into stillness; this should help to ground you before meditation.
Nadi Shodhana(Alternate Nostrils Breathing) Practice:
Next time you find yourself doing too many things at once, or you sense panic or anxiety begin to rise, move through a few rounds of alternate nostril breathing. It’s a great way to hit the reset button for your mental state.
1. Take a comfortable and tall seat, making sure your spine is straight and your heart is open.
2. Relax your left palm comfortably into your lap and bring your right hand just in front of your face.
3. With your right hand, bring your pointer finger and middle finger to rest between your eyebrows, lightly using them as an anchor. The fingers we’ll be actively using are the thumb and ring finger.
4. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
5. Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily.
6. Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed; retain your breath at the top of the inhale for a brief pause.
7. Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side; pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale.
8. Inhale through the right side slowly.
9. Hold both nostrils closed (with ring finger and thumb).
10. Open your left nostril and release breath slowly through the left side. Pause briefly at the bottom.
11. Repeat 5-10 cycles, allowing your mind to follow your inhales and exhales.
Steps 5-9 represent one complete cycle of alternate nostril breathing. If you’re moving through the sequence slowly, one cycle should take you about 30-40 seconds. Move through 5-10 cycles when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or in need of a reset button.
Consistency is helpful, so try to match the length of your inhales, holds, and exhales. For example, you can start to inhale for a count of three, hold for three, exhale for three.
You can slowly increase your count as you refine your breathing practice…(again inhale to fill/hold to purify/exhale to detox - repeat).
enjoy breathing - personalizing yoga for you