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Breath Awareness : Re-Establish your Natural Rhythm

The breath is often stated as the link between the body, mind and soul. The emotional and mental states influence the breath. When this occurs, it is termed as “unconscious breathing,” or “breathing unconsciously.” This is when the person is unaware of their breath and its rhythms, and often too, their emotions and thoughts. When the breath is being breathed by their uncontrolled, unexamined, and unhealed parts of being, the breath becomes controlled by a lesser force, that is unconscious therefore to the higher reality, or the Laws of the Spiritual Nature. The lower force then controls their very reasons for living, forcing the prana (breath and life force) to degrade and to enforce upon the body its lesser vibrations which subtly usurp the higher will. As the lesser begins to control the nature of one’s being, the higher is steadily more forgotten. When the breath is controlled with the intention to heal, calm, relax, reattune, and connect with the higher, the spiritual nature (that which unifies or heals separation) is then allowed to return back to the

command center to issue forth its dictates that will reconvene the body, mind, and soul for a superior level of functioning and greater purpose.

The first step is to notice the breath:

  • What is it doing?

  • How does it feel?

  • How connected are you to its rhythms throughout the day?

  • Do you feel prana? or just the breath of oxygen from the physical?

  • Is the breath a full breath or partial?

  • Is the breath an upper chest breath.... lower rib cage breath.... mid-chest breath... throat breath... or head breath?

Each one of these is indicating how aligned you are with your purpose and your deeper sense of what’s Real. The breath can be looked at as a link between mind and spirit.

Here is a short story that illustrates this example:

“A man in India in the 1800‘s went hiking up a mountain one day. As he was taking

some time out of his hike to enjoy the beautiful view, he slipped and fell off the side as the rocks crumbled beneath his feet. He fell some distance and hit a ledge that was about 100 feet from the ground. After a few days of being stranded there, he was noticed by a passerby, a saint. Given the shape of the mountain, seeing how it was impossible to rescue him from above, the saint quickly devised a plan from below. He found 100 feet of string and tied a rock to one side, and to

the other, 100 feet of a bigger cord. And he proceeded to tie a large, thick rope, that was also 100 feet in length to the cord. Given that there was a tree on the ledge, the instructions were to catch the rock that was to be thrown to him, and to pull up the string, and then the cord, until finally he had the large rope that he could tie to the tree. After this, the man climbed down the rope to his safety.” It was because of the lightness of the string that the rock could be thrown up to the man. The rope and cord were too heavy and could not travel that high with the rock at its forefront. And the cord was needed because the string was not strong enough to hold the weight of the rope. And the rope was needed because neither the string nor cord could support the body weight of the man. So the lighter, easier-to-direct string (breath) was attached to the cord (prana), and the cord to the rope (mind).

If one can start by learning how to control and regulate their breathing, then the prana (subtle energy that comes along with breath and mind) can be controlled. When the prana becomes controlled, so does the mind. Thus, if the breath regulates and quiets, so too does the mind. When the mind is quiet and ever-still, one is simply present.

It may be helpful to remember:

How to find the soul? Control the mind. How to control the mind? Control the prana. How to control the prana? Control the breath.

Think of the prana as that subtle life force energy that empowers the body and is moved by mind. Breath is called pranayama in yoga, which means anything from “extension of life force” to “control of prana.” In yoga, the idea of controlling the breath does not necessarily constitute the control of prana. Pranayama is really more of a subtle art than just a breathing one.

How to work with the breath? There are various methods, which all do different things. A simple practice would be to start by becoming aware of the breath then breathing in through the nose slowly for a count of 6 while expanding the belly and then exhaling through the nose to a count of six as the belly relaxes. The breath should feel like it's almost making a circular motion. This is a great calming practice that can help relax the organs and nervous system and bring clarity of mind and an overall feeling of serenity.

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