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Breathe In – Breathe Out

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Breathe In – Breathe Out By Bette Rose Every day, we all have so many things to remember. But there s only one thing really worth remembering – to breathe.
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 30, 2009
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      Breathe In – Breathe Out
      By Bette Rose

      Every day, we all have so many things to
      remember. But there's only one thing really
      worth remembering – to breathe. Just imagine
      what would happen if we didn't. Actually,
      most of the time, we don't. We breathe by
      habit, incorrectly. Concentration on the
      breath is the fastest, most time-economic
      way to become relaxed. Follow the breath on
      its journey through the folds and turns of
      the inner body. Feel the indulgent comfort
      as you inhale. Feel the peace of release as
      you exhale. Inhale peace, harmony, love,
      compassion, and joy. Exhale fear, anger,
      negativity, hatred and sorrow. Think of the
      breath as a wave on the ocean. As the waves
      roll in they bring you peace and as they roll
      out, they take all of your problems with them.

      Prana is the vital life force or energy that
      flows through our physical body. Learning to
      breathe properly through various exercises
      is called Pranayama. This ancient practice
      is considered the link between our physical
      and astral (or spiritual) body. When we remain
      conscious of our breathing patterns, we are
      able to maintain a balance. A natural calm
      falls over us. As has been said, "When the
      breath is calm, the mind is still."

      Sitting or lying in a position that's natural
      and comfortable to you, place your hand lightly
      over your abdomen. Inhale slowly and deeply.
      Follow with your minds' eye the flow of air and
      pull it deeply down into the base of the spine.
      Notice your abdomen slightly filling and puffing
      out. Allow the pure oxygen to saturate your
      internal self. As you retain the Prana, imagine
      every cell in the bloodstream filling with
      cleansing, healing oxygen and each muscle
      relaxing as they are drenched with air. Then
      slowly release the breath, exhaling completely
      until every drop of air has left the body. Pause
      for a moment, experiencing the sensation of being
      truly "breathless." Notice your abdomen is now
      empty and slightly concave.

      Practice Pranayama often; before, during and
      after meditation and Hatha yoga sessions. Witness
      your breathing pattern when you are frightened
      or nervous. Notice that you are probably taking
      quick, short, and shallow breaths, which of
      course diminish the oxygen flowing to your brain,
      further worsening the situation. By concentrating,
      even if just for a moment, we can bring our
      awareness back to our inner self and the breath
      will quiet. In addition to the benefit of
      clearing our mind in times of trouble, every
      organ also receives the proper internal massage.

      There are seven chakras or energy centers in the
      body, located along the spine. They dwell at the
      base of the spine; the genital area; the navel
      or solar plexus; the heart center; the base of
      the throat; the third eye; and the highest at
      the crown of the head, represented by 1,000 lotus
      petals. As we become more adept at Pranayama, we
      try to visualize the vibrations emanating from
      each chakra, meditating completely on each one.

      The breath is essential to the practice of Hatha
      yoga. As a rule of thumb, we always use the breath
      to move in and out of a posture and often retain
      the breath inside (or outside) of the body during
      retention of the pose. Any backward bending movement
      should be done while inhaling. Any forward bending
      movement should be done during exhalation.

      The essence of life is breath. Without it, we are
      known as a corpse. Learn it, practice it, use it, love it.

      Shanti Shanti Om

      Bette is the Vice-President of the
      Meditation Society of America
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