The Power of Breathing

The Breath of God

Breathing ExerciseI was at a yoga retreat a few weekends back. The power of breathing subject kept coming up which was referred to as “The Breath of God.” It is a simple but powerful exercise. It is free and can be done anywhere and anytime.

Just close your eyes while sitting quietly with your spine erect. Bring your attention internally and take a deep breath in, hold for a second, then breathe out, and again hold or pause for a second. Repeat several times and see how calm and relaxed you become. We tend to hold our breath often throughout the day. Life gets in the way, and we forget to take these empowering and refreshing breaths.

I hope you will try “breathing” during your busy days, when at a red light, before going to bed for a few minutes, before an interview, before making important decisions, before an important date…We take our breath for granted, and we forget to acknowledge this simple exercise that keep us alive and going day in, day out…I will try to remember and practice it also.

The Art of Breathing

Growing up, my loving father was a very strict parent. I used to get frustrated with him a lot, so many things were forbidden – dating, working, going to dance parties, etc…I used to write down all my anger in my many journals. That used to help. But what used to help the most was opening the door and taking brisk walks out in nature. The breath during the walks used to calm me down, help me think better, and clear my brain. At the time, I did not understand that the fresh air, the oxygenated brain, and the breath helped me. I always thought it was just the walk. But when I started practicing yoga and Pranayama (or the Art of Breathing, extension of the life force) in the late seventies, I learned about the power of breath or life force.

Every morning, I try (not always easy to follow this daily discipline) to make time 20 to 30 minutes to meditate or sit quietly, breathe, and be grateful for my life and the life force that keeps me going. It is a precious time for me, my little silent prayer moment.