Tip of the week

BREATH WORKS is a well-known term which has three components

Medical Science has found that the most important part of the human physiology is the Nervous System that consists of the Brain, Spinal Cord and the jungle of nerves that extends to every nook and corner of the human body. As a result of this highly developed human physiology, what a human being can achieve is limitless.

However the Psychologists have discovered that on an average human beings use barely 5-10 % of their potential. This precisely is the mystery of the human existence – why humans use such a meagre percentage of their potential and become mediocre?

The Yogis of the Himalayan tradition have closely studied this question. What they discovered in this process is stunningly elegant. They experimented and found that the most complex and important body functions are autonomous, beyond human influence like blood circulation, digestion of food and so on. But breathing is the only autonomous function that can be influenced by us. This is significant as we can influence our Nervous System, the treasure house of all human potential and possibility.

Yogis or the Masters found that most people are completely ignorant about correct breathing. Therefore they realise very small percentage of their capabilities. Their breathing is shallow “Chest Breathing”. The Yogis on the other hand developed far deeper “Diaphragmatic Breathing”. Since our breathing is a barometer of our Nervous System it must be corrected first, so that we are on course to realise at least ten times of our currently realised potential.

Why should this happen? Because by using the correct breathing techniques the higher Respiratory Centre that lies dormant in human brain gets activated and this is the beginning of the process of Breath Control. With correct breathing we can automatically control the Nervous System and with this we can control our thoughts & emotions thereby experiencing higher degree of calmness, serenity and bliss. This leads to a permanently relaxed state of body and mind hitherto unknown to us. Oxygenation at the Cellular level that one experiences leads to all round health of body, mind and spirit.

After we learn Correct Breathing, we just need to cultivate it so that it becomes a permanent feature in our day to day lives and it happens subconsciously like riding a bicycle.

Correct Breathing is

  • Super smooth, never jerky
  • Silent, never noisy
  • Continuous, never with pauses and
  • Nasal, never using mouth

And ratio of 2:1

We now know the practice of Correct Breathing, the deep Diaphragmatic Breathing. Due to this we begin to oxygenate our bodies at the cellular levels. This makes our bodies stress free and totallyrelaxed.

We are now ready to experience Breath Awareness. In this stage we become watchful. What do we watch? We watch our breath as it enters and exits our nostrils through inhaling and exhaling. It is a practice of being aware to our breath without affecting its quality in any way.

The Yogis found that by watching the breath many interesting things begin to happen. First, we find that breath is the bridge between our body and mind. Second, by watching the breath we automatically become observer of the body and the mind. Third,anything that we can watch can be switched off from the span of our attention at our will. This makes us the master of the mind and the mind is nicely tamed by us. The mind acknowledges this and begins to calm down. The haphazard thoughts begin to cease and the mind becomes calm and quiet; tranquil and peaceful.

This is the desired state of mind as in this state the mind is one pointed and ready to move inwards, the state of meditation.

Breath Awareness makes us transcend the limitations of the body & mind and move into a world of infinite possibilities of achievement.

Having mastered Correct Breathing and become adept in Breath Awareness, we are ready to delve deeper in the breathing process. We are now in a position to introduce creative interventions in the breathing process, experimenting with the inhalation and exhalation and holding breath at different stages of the breathing cycle.

The Yogis of the Himalayan tradition followed the renowned and scientific techniques of Pranayam and discovered the phenomenal benefits that accrue by varying the rate and duration of breathing and holding the breath at different points. This is done consciously to effectively intervene in the autonomous breathing to get holistic development of the body, mind and spirit.

As a result of this, it is possible to alter the rate and rhythm of the breathing process. This energises the higher centres that normally lie dormant in human beings. We are now in the process of making beneficial changes at the cellular level and subtlest levels of conscious and unconscious mind and reach the state of pure consciousness or bliss experienced by the enlightened Yogis.

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