Breathe for balance
Breathing properly is the best way to receive Prana or Life energy in a Yoga and Ayurveda perspective.
In a medical view, correct breathing brings the in the necessary food for the body and mind; oxygen.
And also brings about the removal of toxic gaseous residue; carbon dioxide.
The tiredness, heaviness and low energy many people experience around late-afternoon, is known as a
time Vata is dominant… (all transitions of time are ruled by Vata.) This timely low, correlates to the day moving into
evening. Often at this time we are all less productive, and many of us often feel the building of anxiety, frustration
or fear. Another time these sensations are high is between the hours of 2:30am to 5:00am, also a transitional phase.
The affect the transitions of time have on our body and mind is exacerbated by our breathing habits.
When our breath is shallow it reduces the amount oxygen available to the mind and body. Until we really begin to take note
of our breathing patterns, we may not have even considered them a cause for concern. Most people who come to a Yoga
class often leave saying they feel so relax or energised. It has more to do with learning breathing for balance particular
to the ability of each student than anything else.
Deepak Chopra has a great saying, “Attention enlivens, intention transforms.”
Try to take a few minutes each day to breathe for balance. To become conscious of your breathing, just as it is. Once you
notice your breath, we have the option to optimise it for a few moments.
We can do this by opening out the rib cage to allow space to breathe for balance.
Better breathing involves the movement of our diaphragm and belly.
Sit up straight in a chair, with your feet flat on the floor,
inhale and bring your shoulders up towards your earlobes,
then roll your shoulders back and feel that the upper chest is slightly lifted,
as if to allow more space for the heart.
Now consciously breathe in,
allow the belly to move away from the body. This allows the correct function of the diaphragm.
Try to be awake to just this inhale.
The exhale will follow without you doing too much,
and here, as the exhale begins,
try to pull the navel in towards the spine, to encourage the emptying of breath.
Take one or two natural easy breaths, then continue with the more active breathing a few more times.
Again always taking an easy breath in between.
This type of breathing awakens the ‘relax and release’ part of our nervous system.
This is the balancing nervous system to the ‘fight or flight’ nervous system.
Try this active breathing three times, with a few resting natural breaths in between.
Now it’s time to let go of the ‘doing’ and working with your breathing.
Having worked actively with our breathing pattern, it is time to be a passive audience to our breathing.
For at least six breaths, an inhale and an exhale is one breath, be aware of the simple pattern of your breath.
Without changing it…can you just be interested in your own breath, moving in and moving out?
Its not always so easy, but this does help to bring clarity, focus and a sense of being less rushed.
You can put a timer on, in case you have a schedule to keep to, or just take it as it comes and see how long you can be still
and watch your breath.
The more we practice, the more space is created between thoughts, emotional charge, mental confusion or physical action.
In this time, we have a choice to follow the thought or to return to what makes us clear and content in our life.
Practice this breathing exercise for about three minutes and gradually build up to ten minutes over the coming weeks.
Over time, you will find that you have re-trained your breathing pattern and this should give you energy and
vitality and some mental uncluttering.
” Sometimes the most important thing in the whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths,
or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes. ”