THE POWER OF BREATH
Starting on the path of self-awareness, we begin with the most basic of necessary functions – the breath.
For thousands of years, different cultures have used awareness and control of the breath to become conscious of self. In the West, modern science is only now realising this and investigating the benefits. Breathing is one of the few bodily functions that we can do both unconsciously and consciously.
The Ancients knew what we are now discovering, that there is a vast sea of information surrounding us which flows through and around us. We are able to connect to this information with the use of our breath.
Accessing the alpha state
When we ground ourselves through the breath, we move into a low vibrational state, very close to that of the alpha state. When you complete a task and relax, do the full yogic breath, or take time to reflect, meditate or walk, you encourage the brain to go into the alpha state. In this highly focused but calm state, we turn on our creative brain, become more aware of our surroundings and enjoy a more positive participation of life.
Playing in tune with the orchestra
The aware breath is like playing an instrument that is in tune with the orchestra. Being in balance with the vibrations around us gives a feeling of joyful harmony with our surrounds, rather than discord and disconnect.
Fear is the greatest blocker of all our bodily systems, causing both emotional and physical stress. As numerous studies have shown, stress is a major causal factor in illness and disease. The greater number of negative reactions our mind perceives, the weaker our whole physical body becomes.
Becoming more aware helps us differentiate between those experiences that arouse fear or stress and the physiological changes that arise from these so we can change both our perception and our physical reaction to them. In doing so, we enhance and safeguard our health.
Numerous studies have shown that yogic breath control through pranayama exercises such as Full Yogic Breath can help overcome stress, anxiety, and depression. Most notably, Doctors Brown and Gerbarg’s Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression which appeared in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Vol 11, No. 4, 2005) found that yogic breathing balances the autonomic nervous system, influencing psycho-logic and stress-related disorders.
The study concluded that yogic breathing was a beneficial and low-risk aide to the treatment of stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, stress-related illnesses, substance abuse, as well as rehabilitation of criminal offenders.
Breath control for good health
Being aware of the breath and controlling the breath through pranayama improves wellness of our mind, body and spirit. Awareness of breath makes us more clearly aware of our senses, which helps our brain manufacture neuropeptides, the immune systems building blocks that help our bodies stay healthy and strong.
When we slow down and become an observer of ourselves, we begin to appreciate the intricate function of our minds and bodies. Over time, regular yogic breathing practise bringing growth, self-awareness and greater peace.
Download Sally’s podcast on how to do Full Yogic Breath.
Article Written: March 2012