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The Importance of Breathing

Many are already aware of the importance of pranayama – the technique of conscious breathing. It is a key skill to learn if you want to meditate effectively, increase your energy level and strengthen your aura.

The word prāṇāyāma (Sanskrit: प्राणायाम prāṇāyāma) means “extension of the prāṇa or breath” or, “extension of the life force”. The word is composed of Prana, “life force” or “vital energy” and Ayāma – “to extend”. (Not ‘restrain, or control’ as is often translated from ‘yam’ instead of ‘ayāma’). This in-depth science highlights the connection between the energy around us and the inner life energy of the human body and explains techniques for expanding and channeling the life force, prana.

In this article I am sharing my thoughts on the matter as well as some rare techniques I have discovered through my research.

For some reason, many guided meditations – whether personal or for groups – done in this part of the world, seem to follow the same pattern – starting from focusing on one’s breathing, they then encourage the person to breathe in ‘love, light and all the good energy’, subsequently breathing out all ‘worries, dark thoughts’ and other energy dirt from the inside. I am not sure where this idea originates from, but it always struck me as unethical and unhygienic, akin to spitting and vomiting in public places.

One must remember, that the energy we radiate or expel does not instantly disappear into nowhere. So we end up being surrounded with a self-made cloud of murky, polluted energy, which inevitably finds its way back into our system shortly after being spat out. What is even worse, in case of a bigger group of people, their cumulative negative energies start floating around all members. When a part of the polluted energy eventually floats away, it may then affect negatively some other beings or whatever stands in its way. For this reason I would not recommend practicing that.

A much better approach is offered by traditional yogi techniques, when with every breathe in you draw into your body the pure energy of the Universe and then during breathing out transform it with the power of your mind into your own life energy, thus making you stronger with every breath. An energy potential built up this way allows you to successfully rid of any spots of negative energy, by singly burning them out. Following this pattern means that you do not pollute your environment and and the same time work on actually becoming stronger and more effective dealing with energies of your body.

Below there are some breathing sequences, which you may want to try out. Numbers indicate the lengths of your breaths: breathe in – hold – breathe out – hold.

1.

4-8-4-4: this type of breathing is said to help absorbing the power of the Future. Used regularly it alleviates mental blocks and enhances your ability to absorb the power brought by the energy of time. You will start perceiving the world in its different aspects, thanks to your mind becoming more open and flexible. I also noticed that it generally increases the energy balance very quickly. (This one is my personal favourite.)

2.

4-4-4-8: promotes serenity and peace of mind. This allows you to concentrate on perceiving the sense of Present, shifting your focus towards here and now.

I noticed that this one is very helpful to prepare your mind to entering the meditation state or before an astral projection, as it ‘shuts down’ outer influences and helps to direct focus inwards.

3.

4-4-4-4: this sequence is probably the best known one. It helps to raise energy sensitivity to help find out any blocks or problems within the energy body. When practiced regularly, it activates energy streams within and enhances temporal awareness. It steadily increases strength and energy potential. Useful for any kind of meditation as a standard prelude.

4.

8-4-4-4: concentrates energy in the Root Chakra and activates the Ascending Stream thus raising the overall energy level and giving your the energy for action. This is useful when you require some physical strength or want to work on permanently raising your activity level. A word of caution: when overdone this technique may give side effects, which include a higher blood pressure, palpitation and increased emotions – for that reason it must not be used when the person experiences strong negative feelings as it will amplify them. However, this pattern works very well if you want to experience more fully such feelings as love, happiness, joy or gratitude – it will make the experience much more powerful.

* Beginners may often experience tension in the top part of the body and a tendency to round shoulders when practicing this technique – make sure that your back is straight and all your muscles are relaxed allowing energy flow freely through your Throat Chakra.

5.

4-4-8-4: concentrates energy in the Crown Chakra and the Descending Stream. It is perfect for calming your mind. All your emotions will become much more subjugated, which can be really helpful in the times of distress when you want to quickly restore your mental balance. This technique is useful for any intellectual work, studying and concentration. However, it decreases the level of your physical activity and can slightly slow down your movements if practiced for long, so you should avoid it if a quick reaction and activity are required immediately afterwards.

* When practicing this technique, make sure that there is no tension in your lower body area, especially in the solar plexus.

For the best results, count your heartbeats rather than just counting numbers at a random speed in your mind. Counting heartbeats helps enhancing the link between the body and the mind and makes it easier for you to follow breathing patterns without the necessity to keep repeating numbers in your head, so you can concentrate on the purpose of your meditation.

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