3 Steps to add a superpower to your conscious breath! (VIDEO)
How we breathe affects how we feel.
How we feel affects how we breathe.
Notice your breath right now...
Where is it going? Do you even know?
What are you breathing? Only oxygen?
What is the texture? Temperature?
Is it reaching your belly? Or only your upper chest... not much space there...
You've probably heard about deep abdominal breathing and its benefits.
Well, have you heard of "Complete Breathing"?
Yes, most of us go through life not even realising that there's more to breathing than meets the eye (or lungs ;-)
Yes while properly breathing air into our bellies is needed to oxygenate our blood stream for a healthy body, the way we breathe can facilitate the rest & digest function in our nervous system and also help to calm the monkey-mind by directing our focus on the breath and therefore anchoring our focus. Especially if we consciously tune into it and make that exhalation longer than the inhale so as to activate the relaxation response. It's free. It's always with us. It's so simple. The more we do it, the easier it becomes.
Mind and awareness
One of my meditation teachers taught me to see the mind like a puppy. To have a little puppy behave like we want it to, we have to train it. With patience, compassion, care and non-judgement. This, we learn in mindfulness. The act of paying close attention to what arises in the present moment, without judgment. Noticing our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.
Not identifying with our thoughts but noticing them like you would notice a puppy. With love, patience and non-judgement, constantly redirecting the puppy (your thoughts) so it doesn't cause damage. Constantly shifting from the mind and its ever-bubbling thoughts back to present moment awareness, a state of being truly conscious while being anchored by the calm breath. It's a muscle to train that requires will power because our thoughts are like a drug, always luring us to get on the thought-train and eager to follow it's in-built negative brain-bias that kept us surviving all these ages but that also has the tendency to lead us away from love and into fear-based thoughts of separation and seeing differences in others. Hence humanity's current state of not living in peace and harmony.
Eckart Tolle, highly acclaimed spiritual teacher describes the state of awareness as a dimension of consciousness within you that’s not of the thinking mind. A conscious presence under all our thoughts without which you won’t be able to see anything. As soon as you notice the activity of the mind and shift back, you are "in awareness" just because you’re noticing. It's still, but so alive. He often refers to it as a spacious awareness, the essence of our identity, alertness without thinking. He believes that it is humanity's destiny to now rise above our thinking and I agree. We can all do it.
There is however another simple step that we can add to help us deepen the shift from mind to awareness and to breathe more completely.
To gain energy that would be otherwise lost in the mind.
That is "Complete Breathing".
Also known from ancient Tibetan practices as Vase breathing.
or "Energy body Breathing".
The Energy Body:
All humans are equipped with not only a physical body but also an energy body.
The energy body is a more subtle vibrational frequency of the physical body.
To put it another way, all matter is composed of particles and waves: the physical body is particulate; the subtle body is its waves. The energy body exists in the same space as the physical body on a more subtle level. It is formed by the flow of energy channels.
The human energy system ("HES") consists of many channels of different sizes including the large central psychic channel, with a series of power centers and small fine ones.
By altering the flow of the energy channels, one can influence the function and healing of the body.
This is the foundation of complementary and alternative medicine such as acupuncture.
In complete breathing we recognise that there is vital energy in the air around us and we intend it down into the energy body's energy center/vase. By doing so we gain greater vitality.
The Universal Energy Field ("UEF"):
The Universal Energy Field (UEF) is ubiquitous, life-giving energy that has been referred
to in at least 97 wisdom traditions*. It is sometimes referred to as chi or prana.
Living organisms emit measurable energy vibrations. This energy is known as the
bio-field, bioplasma, or electromagnetism.
The human energy center has been referred to as the hara, Life Vase, tse bum, and
second chakra. The Vase spans about 4 fingers above and below the navel.
Beginning in the early 20th century, the universal and human energy fields have been
scientifically investigated using techniques involving electrostatic, magnetic,
electromagnetic, sonic, thermal, and visual measurements*.
Energy medicine practices have since been integrated into many hospital practices and are being validated by a growing body of scientific research.
Complete breathing intends subtle energy from the UEF into the HEF.
By working with the energy body through intention and breath, we optimize the
functioning of the energy body and thus optimize the functioning of the physical body.
It conserves energy and produces better oxygen absorption allowing for
optimal functioning of the HEF and greater mental and physical awareness.
And for expectant women, it's a key practice we teach in "Calm Birth" birth preparation since the womb is roughly located in the same area and greatly benefits from this practice too.
Step 1: Become mindful of the breath without judgement. (Naturally as a result you should start to deepen the breath.)
Step 2: Add your intention to the breath of visualising the vital energy from the UEF down into your vase, your energy center. Nothing fancy. Simple but powerful. There's no right or wrong here. Make it your own. It can be as visual or as simple as you like.
Step 3: Feel how your energy body and as a result your physical body gains more vitality as you fill your vase with each breath!
It's like filling your energetic "gas tank" with intention to replenish your energy body.
Start your day in the morning with a couple of energy body breaths, setting the intention for the body to continue breathing in this way as you go about your day.
And slumber off into dreamland as you set the intention for your body to continue breathing in this way, with the knowing...
The body is made to breathe energy.
And if you'd like to deepen your understanding and practice of this beautiful practice and take your Self-Empowerment journey further, don't hesitate to book a Conscious Empowerment session and I'll be honoured to work with you.
* References: Brennan, 1988