Perhaps the only thing that we are all truly equal in is our breath. It doesn’t matter who we are, where we come from or what we possess. We all have the same amount of breath available to us in any moment.
But how do we breathe, what is the nature of our breath and our relationship to it? That’s where the power of training, practise and consciousness comes in.
Kundalini yoga teaches that we are each accorded a certain number of breaths at birth. If we’re getting stressed, anxious, angry, uptight and fearful, our breath becomes shallow, speeds up and we waste our breath and ultimately hasten our death. So it makes sense to learn or to remember how to breathe mindfully, calmly and deeply.
Here’s 7 steps to follow to experience the power of long, deep yogic breathing to change your mood and energy levels in as little as 3 minutes.
- Sit with a straight spine, chin slightly tucked in or lie on your back with your knees up, feet flat on the floor. Close your eyes and roll your eyeballs up as if you’re looking between the eyebrows.
- Inhale and relax the belly so it moves forward and outward, as if it were a ballon expanding. On the exhale let the belly deflate and the navel comes towards the spine. Practise this belly breath for a minute.
- Now include the ribs in the breath by beginning with the belly breath and then continue the inhalation expanding the front, side and back of the ribs. Exhaling let the ribs fall, belly deflate. Practise this belly and rib breath for a minute.
- Finally travel the inhalation from the belly, up into the ribcage and then into the upper chest and collarbone area. Notice the shoulders move back a little with the inhale.On the exhale relax your clavicle ad upper chest, notice the collarbone drops, the shoulders move forward.
- Then let the mid chest and ribs relax and finally pull in your abdomen. the collarbone corps, the shoulders move forward.
- Continue for at least 3 minutes. Breathe through all three parts with a smooth, wavelike motion stopping at the crest of the inhale for a few seconds to feel the full expansiveness of the breath and flow the breath back out the body, stopping at the end of the full exhale for a few seconds to enjoy the relaxing effects of letting go.
- If you enjoy visualisations, see your breath is like a wave, part of a greater ocean of breath. Visualise your body as luminous and see each cell acquire a glow of light as you inhale.
Try this 3 part yogic breath anytime you feel you need a boost during a stress filled days or begin your day with some practise to establish a daily habit. Practise anywhere from 3 minutes to 31 minutes to feel re-energised, calm and clear.
Please do leave a comment if you want to share your experience or get clarification on the technique. Enjoy the gift we share of breath and choose to make it conscious!