November 21, 2022
Breath Is Life
I couldn’t believe it when my teacher gently declared, “Ok, now we are going to practice breath work (pranayama) for an hour straight.”
Up to this point I had only done breath work for up to 10 minutes in a yoga class. An hour of just breathing seemed so hard core!
Not only were we going to regulate our breath for an hour but we were also going to slow our breathing down to only two breaths per minute through an ancient and advanced form of “Alternate Nostril Breath.” The average person breathes about 15-17 breaths per minute which has been shown to have many adverse effects on our health and wellbeing.
Despite being somewhat nervous and scared, I was also excited for the challenge. I had 100% trust in my teacher. He was Sri Vatsa Ramaswami, the longest standing student of the prolific Krishnamacharya, often credited as The Godfather of Modern Day Yoga. This powerful lineage of yogis traces back thousands of years.
Although there were many moments of challenge like gasping for air, the overall feeling I experienced after our session was instantly life changing!
I had never felt so calm, peaceful and blissful my entire life. In fact, I couldn’t stop smiling for days.
Since those days, breath work (known in yoga as pranayama) has exploded in popularity into the mainstream, especially as more research has been done and affirmed what the yogis and other wisdom cultures have espoused for thousands of years.
There was once a Westerner who visited a temple in Southeast Asia where he noticed a senior monk teaching something to a group of younger monks, about four or five years old. The visitor asked the older monk after they were finished, “what were you teaching, it looked interesting?” The monk replied, “I was teaching the kids how to breathe. It was actually their first day of school. Instead of teaching them ABCs or numbers we always start with proper breathing practices.” “Why is that?” asked the visitor. The Monk explained, “Because the only thing that stays with you from the moment you’re born to the moment you die is your breath. Also, we experience every emotion with the change of the breath. When you learn to manage your breath, you can manage your mind and emotions through any situation in life.”
The yogis and wise monks have always known that mastery of breath is key to mastery of life.
Although most of us were never taught to breathe in pre-school and kindergarten, there has been a giant shift and greater awareness of its importance. Breath work has exploded in popularity into the mainstream greatly benefitting athletes, military personnel, health care workers, trauma patients, and many more. In recent years, much research has been done and affirmed what the yogis have espoused for thousands of years.
In my NEW 30-hour training, “BreathWork,” available on Inner Dimension Academy November 21, 2022 (today!) we will take a deep dive into pranayama, subtle anatomy, the science and anatomy of breathing, benefits of breath work, how it affects the brain, heart and nervous system, postures, practice tips, teaching tips, and much more. This self-paced course also includes a 28 Day “BreathWork” program and comprehensive Digital manual.
There is an old Sanskrit proverb that says, “For breath is life, and if you breathe well, you will live long on earth.”
I look forward to sharing this practice and knowledge that will have you living a long healthy life!