The topic of breath has been coming up a lot recently. As I examine the various ways that I use my breath in my daily practices, I realize how it aids me in all that I do. This may seem very obvious, but I wanted to take a moment to detail them out here.
Every morning I do yoga. The yoga discipline which I prefer to practice is Kundalini. In doing Kundalini yoga, there are many different breathing exercises. One of my favorites it the “Breath of Fire.” This breathing technique is a quick, deep breath that goes in and out, cycling through in about one second per cycle (roughly). The purpose of this breath, as I see it, is to excited the body and disrupt the set patterns that the body is in. When this is done, we can re-set patterns and make changes. Yoga, in itself helps us to do this as we breath deeper into each pose.
After I do yoga, I meditate. In meditation I exercise deep, conscious breathing. I breath into by belly, very deeply, hold it for a couple seconds and then letting it out for equally as long as it took for me to breath it in. Doing this, I find that I concentrate on my breath and am able to clear my mind of all distractions. I do a similar pattern of breathwork when I do a guided meditation, journey or chakra work.
When I learned to play the didjeridoo it was necessary to learn the art of “circular” breathing.” This type of breathing is the act of breathing in while breathing out, so that there is always breath going out and resonating within the didj. I caught on to this type of breathing very quickly and found that it has the effect of putting you into a deep trance. Coupled with the low tones resonating from the instrument itself, the results are amazing!
In a recent conversation a friend and I explored how breath is also used as a means of healing. I have a tendency to place all of my emotional discomfort and stress in my stomach. This can cause very nasty tummy aches. When I feel these, I sit and breath very slowly and deeply. The breath itself causes the pain to subside as I am doing it, and often, if I continue to do it, the pain will go away completely!
There are many other ways that we can control the state of our bee-ing by using our breath. These are just a few of the ways that I most often explore breath work. I would love to hear about your experiences.