The Breath : Your Gateway to Clarity, Energy & Spirit
Updated: Apr 23, 2020
"Breath gives life to every cell,
awakens the consciousness in each cell,
is the intelligence in each cell
so it continues to work."
- Dr. Pratima Raichur
The Breath : Your Natural Gateway to Clarity, Energy & Spirit
The Stress-Breath Connection
Have you noticed that when we are under stress, our breath also changes?
Or in comparison: have you noticed how much better you feel after taking a few long deep breaths?
The traditions of yoga and Ayurveda have long studied the connection between the breath, the mind and our level spiritual awareness, and have provided powerful tools to help us retrain our stress-response toward one of clarity, creativity and connection.
The Power of Your Breath
If we are attuned to our breathing patterns, we will notice that when we feel anxious, angry or stressed, our breath becomes shorter and more constricted. As the body prepares to defend itself against a perceived threat (fight or flight), our heart rate and blood pressure increase, and oxygen is redirected from the brain to other parts of the body. This makes our thinking more reactive, more short sighted, and more defensive and self-centered, and more likely to go into repetitive thought patterns (or loop thinking).
The good news is that by learning to harness to power of your breath, you can overcome common stress-related ailments, and also see great benefits in your level of mental clarity, energy levels, and spiritual awareness.
In the yogic tradition, daily breathing exercises "pranayama" (or control of the breath) are used to purify the subtle channels (nadis) of the body-mind, help build stress-resilience, and retrain your body-mind toward new ways of thinking, perceiving and behaving.
Today, modern research has confirmed many of the benefits of daily pranayama exercises, including:
Helping to rewire your body's response to stress
Bringing a healthy glow to your complexion
Clearing the subtle energy channels of the body
Bringing clarity and freshness to the body and mind
Balancing the emotions and bringing a positive, peaceful mood
Boosting the immune system
Slowing the aging process
"Thought and breath always work together.
When the mind struggles, the breath struggles;
when the mind is steady, the breath flows."
- Dr. Pratima Raichur
2 Easy Breathing Exercises to Try at Home
Working with the breath is a very simple clarifying daily practice that can be done from the comfort of your own home, for powerful results.
I have shared a few breathing exercises below to support your exploration.
In general, however, it is best to learn these exercises directly from a qualified instructor.