Tonite I’ll be facilitating another Yoga Nidra experience. If you’ve never tried this yogic practice I highly recommend you find a local teacher and do it! It requires very little from you. Just lie down, breathe, and listen closely to what the teacher is saying. The practice falls under the heading of ‘pratyahara’ or sensory withdrawal and the benefits are amazing.
Category: Yoga Therapy
The respiratory system is the only system of the body that we can take control of. We can: lengthen, shorten, hold, and regulate our breathing according to our will. Or, we can completely ignore it and it will still work.
You can’t do that with your digestive system, or your nervous system, or your endocrine system. The respiratory system is completely unique in that way.
Now consider the fact that the respiratory system is intimatly connected to your heart beat, pulse, and blood pressure. Logic suggests, that if we can control our breath we can affect our heart rate. Hmmmmm.
Let’s take it another step further.
It’s a known fact that when we are feeling fear, doubt, or uncertainty we tend to hold our breath. When we are living thru times of crisis, chaos, & turbulance our breathing patterns tend to shorten. What we do not realize is that when we constrict our breath in this way, the body retains the cellular memory of the fear, the doubt, and the turbulance. Energy gets blocked and we begin to reduce our ability to feel relaxed, joyful, and happy. It just happens.
Now multiply this over time and think about just how much of your life force energy you have repressed over the course of your life. Scary, isn’t it?
Over the year’s we’re addressed this issue in our yoga classes & workshops. I’ve witnesses hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of people change their health, their outlook, and their behaviours just by practicing yoga breathing. When our intention becomes the freedom from the energetic holding patterns that prevent full aliveness.
If you’d like more information on it you might want to visit these websites……………….http://www.eupsychia.com/perspectives/defs/cell.html or http://www.breathwork.com/
What’s important to understand is that these practices benefit all of us, regardless of your personal history. Just the stress of daily living is enough for the body/mind to create these ‘holding’ patterns. So, find someone who facilitates yogic breathwork in your neighborhood and try it. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll get a good rest and leave feeling completely relaxed. The best thing that can happen is that you’ll release some of the negative results of a life’s worth of holding.
Om shanti, om.
We talk about the Edge in yoga class a lot. It’s a place that’s easy to find…..you’re on the mat, stretching, and then you hit the wall, you can’t go any farther. You’ve reached your edge. Everyone handles that spot differently. Some push, forcing their bodies to go further. Others, back off, fearing the sensations that occur there, worrying about injury or something like that. Regardless of what category you fall in, it’s an interesting place because it clearly shows you how you “do your life”……..pushing forward or backing off.
In Kripalu yoga, and in my classes particularly the lesson is to “explore” it. Discover, here and now, your relationship to the edge. The yoga lesson is to “be comfortable with what is”…..definitly easier said than done. If you are experiencing discomfort in the stretch, can you simply breathe into it and let it be okay? If you choose to back off and not approach the discomfort zone, can you let that be okay? Pushing past the edge is okay if you are edging forward slowly with mindful awareness and keen sensitivity to the sensations in your body. Forcing or pushing is definitly not okay.
How you do your yoga is how you do your life.
Did you practice yoga today?
The average human breathes 13-15 times a minute or 21,000-21600 times in a 24 hour day.
21,600 breaths per day = 7,884,000 breaths per year
7,884,000 breaths per year = 946,080,000 breaths in 120 years or the life span of a healthy human according to yogic texts.
The yogi measures a life not by years but rather by the number of breaths one is allotted to each lifetime.Logic suggests then to slow it down, and make each breath longer if one wants to live longer. In this way we actually conserve energy and increase our vitality and increase our chances of experiencing bliss.
“Breath is mind in action……
The implication of this technology is that we are not helpless victims of a given emotional state.
By altering the flow of nasal breath, the body chemistry gradually changes and unwanted emotional and physiological states slowly disappear”
Harish Johari, author of Breath, Mind and Consciousness.