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Breathe In - Breathe Out by Sri Betteji

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  • medit8ionsociety
    This first appeared in the Inner Traveler and now is being posted by request. Enjoy! Breathe In – Breathe Out Every day, we all have so many things to
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2012
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      This first appeared in the Inner Traveler and now is
      being posted by request. Enjoy!

      Breathe In – Breathe Out

      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
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