The main problem in the world is stress. It is not going to decrease, it is going to increase. If through pranayama the shock can be harnessed, the entire stress and disease can be eliminated ~ Yogi Bhajan
Mastery of the breath is a foundation for, promoting health and vitality. Opening the range and creativity of the emotions. Controlling the moods. Developing concentration and promoting the feeling of connectedness. Breath awareness begins with recognising the breath as both the gross physical breath, as well as the subtle life force of the body and mind called prana.
A Kundalini Yogi examines and breaks the habit to ignore the breath. Think of the breath in broader terms than simply respiration. Consider that the breath and its movements are connected to the movements of all ether emotions and thoughts.
The breath and the Word are in intimate relationship.They form the platform from which all things begin, and they shape the form and direction of ones life. They govern our communications and our relationships with ourselves and others. If we can consciously harness the pattern, forming abilities of the breath and sound,
The quantity, quality and circulation of the breath creates the foundation of a vital and creative life. It is a barometer of how much energy we normally run on, and how much reserve capacity we have created for emergencies. The breath is both gross and subtle.
The gross aspect is the blend of oxygen, nitrogen and other elements that chemically constitute air. The subtle aspect is the prana or vital force that energies the mind, body and consciousness.
Most people do not breath correctly. Breath signatures which create shallow, erratic, upper chest breathing are common. The lack of relaxation and wellbeing on a personal as well as collective level, along with other factors, inhibits proper breathing. Yet, of all the positive changes a person can make, learning to breathe deeply, and completely is probably the most effective for developing higher consciousness, and for increasing health, vitality and connectedness in ones life.
All movement requires tension, but stress occurs when muscular or mental tension cannot return freely to an uncorrected or relaxed state. Stress causes poor breathing, shallow, erratic, upper chest breathing with a faster breathing rate, which leads to chronic tension and weak nerves. And poor breathing increases susceptibility to more stress. This sets the scene for illness and breakdown in one or another of the body systems.
We hold a tremendous amount of tension and emotional trauma in our muscular structure in the form of armouring. Proper breathing, which changes our breath signature, allows the release of armouring. As we increase the general flexibility of the body, and expand the lungs, our sensitivity increases because the armour decreases.
Breathing correctly frees up the flow of prana, and as our armouring and tension release, our vitality is increased.
Feeling of Connection
When our vitality is increased, our prana is flowing, we feel emotionally secure, and our physical bodies are strong. A deep sense of connection results.
When we consciously lower the frequency of breaths per minute, we encourage great benefits. Normally men breath at a rate of 16/18 cycles per minute, women breath 18/20 cycles per minute.
8 Cycles per minute – Feeling more relaxed. Relief from stress and increased mental awareness. Parasympathetic nervous system begins to be influenced. Healing processes are elevated.
4 Cycles per minute – Positive shifts in mental function. Intense feelings of awareness, increased visual clarity, heightened body sensitivity. Pituitary and pineal begin to coordinate at an enhanced level, producing a mediative state.
1 Cycle per minute – 20 seconds to inhale – 20 seconds to hold – 20 seconds to exhale – Optimised cooperation between brain hemispheres. Dramatic calming of anxiety, fear and worry. Openness to feeling presence and the presence of spirit. Intuition develops.
Pranayam is the science of breath, controlling the movement of prana through the use of breath techniques.
Prana – The life force
Pran – First Unit
Ayam – Expansion
With pranayama we expand the first unit, the seed energy. A slight change in this seed vibration can change or entire universe.
A Kundalini Yogi employs a wide range of pranayama techniques, using the rhythm and depth of great to effect and manage different energy states of health, consciousness and emotion.
The mind follows great, the key to controlling the mind is controlling the breath.
The Kundalini yogi is a pran yogi, and uses pranayama and bandha (body locks) to create the state of stillness – shuniya – zero. Into this stillness, a seed (bij) is planted to create a new rhythm or pattern of being, thus the kundalini flows.
KRI Teacher Training
Kundalini as Taught by Yogi Bhajan.