तस्मिन् सति श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः प्राणायामः I
tasmin-sati śvāsa-praśvāsayoḥ-gati-vicchedaḥ prāṇāyāmaḥ
Having experienced this (tasmin-sati), expansion of life force through breath regulation (prāṇāyāmaḥ) is mastered by interrupting (vicchedaḥ) the flow (gati) of unconscious and irregular breathing (śvāsa-praśvāsayoḥ).
PRACTICAL LIVING The first thing we do when we are born is inhale. The last thing we will do before dying is exhale. In between that first and last breath, lots of breathing happens, without us being aware it is happening. Breathing, for the most past, is an unconscious pattern. It does, however, affect us physiologically, mentally, emotionally and energetically in expansive ways. Patañjali says that once we’ve understood the concept of balancing effort with ease (mentioned in the previous sūtras), and we have learned how to move the body with the breath, then we are ready to sit in stillness and observe a more subtle part of practice: the breath.
IN THE YOGA WORLD Breath-centered āsana practice prepares our wild mind for breath work. We move from gross to subtle. We move from the body to the breath. The mind needs to be prepared to go inward because the senses are frequently pulling us outward. A lot of yoga āsana practice nowadays focuses on the gross part of the practice – the body. People who begin to observe their breathing and consciously change their breathing patterns feel instant changes in calmness and ease. Their focus shifts from acrobatic-focused āsana to breath-focused āsana.
If possible, spend some time every day observing the breath. This observation leads you to change the way you breathe, which calms the mind and takes you on a beautiful journey inward. Find a teacher that can help you through that journey. There are many breathing techniques one can use. Start simple. And enjoy the magic of working with your own breath! Simple, yet so profound.
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON Silvita, a being dedicated to self-growth so she can impact others, is simply delightful. She has been dedicated to the practice and philosophy of yoga for years, and it is clear how the knowledge and experience has impacted her as an individual. Watching her do her yoga practice is beautiful. She is devoted to her breath. She understands the depths of using the breath as an inner guide, or inner teacher. She respects the power of the breath and moves with so much grace. Her body has definitely understood the balance between effort and ease, firmness and softness. And that makes it so that the breath has space to be the master, to express itself as the bridge between body and soul, between mind and essence. Silvita, I have always felt deep cariño towards you. And this time in India together simply deepened that. Love you Goddess!
Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!
Thanks and next week we will discuss how to practice conscious breathing!