Vail Valley Yoga Soup: Breathe deep for inner peace
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL VALLEY “-When the sun in Colorado’s Vail Valley cracks in your window in the morning and you throw the covers off the bed do you feel like shouting out “I feel like the sun is shining on me from the inside out!”?
Well, maybe this is a little over the top given the emotional upheaval that is plaguing the majority of the population in these turbulent times, but we believe it can be your statement of hope and relief. And that’s what we are all after, right? A little hope and relief. Well for us, that relief comes in the form of breath. Sound too good to be true, not complicated enough to have such a transformational effect?
We believe there is nothing more foundational to our holistic health and healing ” physical, emotional and spiritual ” than our breathing. This healing and wellness can be accelerated through the use of conscious breathing techniques.
To quickly comprehend the effectiveness of transformational breathing, thumb through the book “Breathe Deep, Laugh Loudly,” by Dr. Judith Kravitz, founder of the Transformational Breath Foundation. The many examples in this paperback support the powerful declaration from prominent psychotherapist, Dr. Henry Smith-Rohrberg that “One transformational breath session is equivalent to about two years of psychotherapy.”
There is a direct link between the quality of our breathing and the quality of our lives. Conscious breathing shifts the way we are feeling in the moment simply by changing the pattern of our breath. Almost everyone suffers from stored emotional energy patterns from the past: Traumas, parental issues, depression and abuse. Unfortunately, the list can be quite long for many people. Employing transformational breathing helps us to “loosen” and integrate stuck energies that no longer serve our highest good, which translates into emotional balance and freedom from chronic issues and reoccurring illnesses.
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On a metaphysical level, the breath is synonymous with our spirit. Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith of the Agape movement calls the breath, “Our biological reminder of who we are and of whose we are.” According to ancient wisdom of the East, Prana, or life energy, is said to be generated in large part through our breathing. Dr. Andrew Weil states, “Breath is the movement of the spirit in the body.”
In fact, the word spirit itself comes from the Latin root spiritus, which means to breathe. The word respiration comes from the root respirare, which means to re-spirit. In other words, every time we take in a breath, we are literally “re-spiriting” our bodies with that primary energy/prana that is the essence of our being. Breathing techniques can be used to create a deeper connection with Spirit and with all life, resulting in an increased intuitive awareness and a blissful outlook on life, unaffected by the ups-and-downs inherent in nature. Given the current climate of what is happening around all of us, wouldn’t it be great to tap into that blissful outlook and get a little inner peace?
On a functional level, the breath is our body’s system of perpetual regeneration: Breathing out carbon dioxide and other toxic material dumped into the blood stream as our cells perform their routine functions, and breathing in oxygen/prana to recharge those same cells with an ample supply of their most critical energy source, so they perform at optimum levels.
We all breathe in this manner, but how many of us really breathe correctly? From our experience, approximately 90 percent of the population could improve the way they breathe. We take an average of 17,000 breaths per day. If we can affect even one small improvement in the way we breathe, that change will be compounded more than 6 million times in one year. In the business world, that would be an example of a phenomenal return on your investment.
You may ask, “How do I begin?” The first thing to do is to become aware of your breath. As you watch your own process of breathing, ask yourself these questions: Am I breathing in my belly AND my chest, or only one or the other? Does it hurt when I breathe? Where do I feel the pain? Do I hold my breath when I am anxious or scared? Is my breathing full-bodied or shallow? Observation is the first step to understanding what is going on within you and what needs to be changed in order to live a happier, more fulfilling life.
When embarking on a deeper exploration of the breath, it’s best to seek out trained facilitators. Not all facilitators are the same. Do your homework: Study their literature, investigate their Internet presence, and ask for references or testimonials. If you have any cause for question or concern, talk with others who have worked with that facilitator. A good match between client and healer makes a world of difference to the quality of your experience.
When we begin to make a conscious effort to understand the power inherent in our breathing, it is then that we will truly comprehend that “as your breath flows, so your life flows.”
R. Christian Minson is a certified breathing teacher trained under Dr. Judith Kravitz, co-founder of Transformational Breathing. Visit http://www.breathflow.com for more information. Minson will be teaching classes at Dogma Athletica Saturday and Sunday. Amy Baker is the yoga program director for Dogma Athletica, a yoga studio in Edwards. For more information, call 970-688-4433.