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February 3, 2016

Using Our Breath to Re-Discover Natural Balance.

breathe

At the end of yoga class, I rest in savasana.

I breathe deeply.

Each inhale draws my body closer to the ground. Every exhale lifts me closer to the sky.

My eyes are gently closed. I listen breath—not just mine, but the breath the surrounds me. I notice my body has a rhythm. Each body in the room has a rhythm.

In that moment, we connect through our ujjayi breath, a whispering echo of deep long inhales and exhales. I feel I am a part of something much greater, a part of a whole.

The breath is our life force. We cannot live without it. It regulates our body, circulating that which is stagnant. We need not be a practitioner of yoga to find a moment of quiet—a savasana—to lie in stillness and focus on nothing but our breath. That deep ujjayi breath—or victorious breath—is an important tool to remind us of the vital force that flows through our body, rather than getting lost in the chaotic informational flow of technology that surrounds us wherever we go.

Our bodies function through a series of rhythmic flows: the blood in our veins, the breath in our lungs, the food in our gut. We are movement and we are rhythm. Shavasana is a time that reminds me of this rhythm that I lose sight of when I am bombarded with information coming at me from many different sources.

Before electricity, the only forces influencing our body came from the earth and the cosmos. As we have become more technologically advanced, the types of energy waves we are exposed to every day has increased. With energy coming from so many different sources, it is hard maintain focus.

With emails flooding our inboxes, texts, instant messages, snap chats and phone calls – it is difficult to escape technology. And this information overload has exploded in the last 10 years. These forces run counter to our bodies natural flow.

I have experienced a “glazed over” kind of feeling after spending hours in front of a computer—the inspired feeling when I sat down to write an hour ago has turned into a sleepy, foggy haze. I try to write, but cannot but lose my train of thought as I hear the alerts of new emails and text messages.

I feel irritated and aggravated.

In these moments, I notice I am holding my breath. I have lost track of my body’s natural rhythm—that ujjayi breath that connects me to my body’s natural flow.

If we think back to centuries ago in that time before electricity, a woman’s menstrual cycle was in harmony with the moon. Menstruation began under a new moon and ovulation took place under a full moon. Now a woman’s cycle may be every 28 days like the waxing and waning of the moon, but it is not necessarily in sync.

We have many conflicting sources of energy. That is why I feel to find that peace and quiet.

The best way to do this is to come back to our breath.

Deep inhales fill our bodies with oxygen and bring us clarity and a new influx of energy.

With each exhale, we let go of stale energy and stagnant thoughts. We let go of all those many forms of communication that confuse us and come back to our natural rhythms.

 

 

 

 

Author: Jane CoCo Cowles

Editor: Renée Picard

Image: marie-aschehoug-clauteaux at Flickr 

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