Pranic Breathing is a super powerful practice capable of substantially improving our base line health and vitality, but more importantly, drastically altering our common everyday consciousness.
Waterfall Breathing video here.
The health benefits of all sorts of breathing techniques have been well documented by many professionals. This includes exponents from the medical field, psychology, alternative health practitioners, meditators, sports people and and others. So I don't really want to go into that aspect here as good and valuable as it is.
Consciousness these days is a hot topic, from what exactly is it, to what it does and how it functions. There are many debates and commentaries around spirituality, meditation, physics and so on.
For myself, awareness is the bedrock, so to speak and 'consciousness' is the next level up. So, a shared, consensual perception and understanding between the beings that have basic awareness and are of similar ilk. (such as humans or beetles or birds and trees, or maybe even rocks and planets and suns and other items that we commonly disregard as being not conscious) Modern physics is busy postulating now whether the entire Universe/Multiverse is 'conscious'. I personally believe it is exactly so, but of course I have no consensually agreed professional 'reputation' to guard.
So starting with the basic movements of Pranic Breathing, with a little conditioning and other Yoga practice, we soon gain a beautiful sense of freedom in the harmony of body, breath and basic awareness.
Those of you either actively involved with this practice, teaching it to students or just starting out on the journey, will know that I rather soon, introduce and emphasize the faculty of our imagination. When we close our eyes and move the body and breathe, we rapidly realize that what we are all familiar with as our physical bodies, is really just a sensation. Our foot for example, or arm or head, is just a feeling. And so I speak about 'feeling awareness'.
Harnessing this feeling awareness as we play with our imagination by coupling the two together, gives us a superb feeling of 'plasticity'. I quickly lose the idea of exactly where and what my arm or chest and rest of body is, and just experience the unity of feeling awareness. In this 'state of awareness', I can 'be' as huge or small as I wish. I can be whatever I wish to and I can include or exclude any items I so choose to.
We are all deeply habituated to leverage our awareness (and consciousness) around our actually very limited physical body feeling and sensations.) We are all likewise deeply habituated to not include in our awareness and consciousness 'things that are not there'. (imagination) If we do this openly, we run the very real risk of being seriously frowned upon and considered to possibly need some help by our earnest friends and fellow humans. However, this is standard practice for pranic breathing. We start by including the sky and natural surrounds such as trees, gardens, clouds, rivers, even buildings and cars and so on. This gives us a springboard place to move to other scenes for visualization.
Pranic Breathing offers us a wonderful opportunity to harness and engage our 'Spirit'. Generally I feel 'Spirit' is a poorly understood idea all round. Perhaps a good starting place is just the will to live and love and find joy and happiness and balance. We all have this intrinsically built into our being-ness. Spirit can be discussed in terms of Intention and also the underlying 'Intent' of things, but it seems to be closely linked to 'feeling'. So if we consider mechanization, machines, digital tech, mathematics and perhaps empirical logic and reason, we will understand everything Spirit is not. Warmth, feelings, caring and kindness, emotions and so on is all related and entangled with the elusive concept of Spirit.
In the breathing practice, well really any effective visualization practice as well, we need to harness feelings or else it will be a somewhat dull, static, and basically 'dead' effort. A vibrant walk on the beach in my imagination, especially if I am with a good friend perhaps, conjures up plenty of feelings and emotions. This of course provides us the necessary energy to leverage and channel our awareness and consciousness.
Years of pranic breathing have shown and taught me many marvels. From substantial aid in relaxation, (direct correlates) stronger meditation, better ability to 'see' how a plan may turn out, greater mental control, improved energy and health and many more advantages.
So anyhow, I trust this will be some inspiration to explore, to practice, to share and teach and deepen the technique into a solid, and staple daily anchor for body, mind and spirit.
Do watch the video and if you have not got involved with this wonderful technique, give me a shout and we can chat.
Y.A.I 500h Sacred Spiral Yoga
How often should we be practicing?
This question seems to come up quite frequently.
As much as we like to be told exactly what and when, unfortunately it's not quite so simple.
Firstly, why are we practicing in the first place?
If you want to feel stronger, fitter, more mentally alert and emotionally stable, you will have to find the right weekly input and rhythm that will work for you to achieve this. This varies person to person for many reasons.
The bottom line is, give and take a few factors, we get out what we put in. So make an effort and you will see some result.
In the final analysis, practices like Tai Ji, Yoga, Meditation and so on are more a mind state than anything else. Our core beliefs, attitudes, feelings and physical actions will operate to roll out how we gradually gain and benefit or go round in circles or just fall off completely.
These kinds of practices are currently popular, so many folk may just be in it because everyone is doing it. We may want to ask ourselves the question, how real is this for me? Is it really meaningful? and so on.
Director Sacred Spiral Yoga
Paul Carlos is the founder of Sacred Spiral Yoga.