When we are born, the first thing we do (before all the crying) is breathe.
This is why, in Yoga, we must always return to the breath. This life-sustaining force that welcomes prana (life-force energy) into our being, connects us back to those first innocent moments here on earth.
During Asana practise, we use the breath as a guide for our movements – inhalation for expansion; exhalation for the release.
A simple pranayama focus:
Sit or lie comfortably
Close your eyes
Bring awareness to your natural breathing rhythm
Take a slow, gentle, deep inhalation
Feel the air and where it goes - place one hand on your chest and abdomen
Exhale slowly, gently, deeply
Rest between breaths
Continue to feel into this
As Awareness shifts to this predominant force, we can remember to simply be. Every breath provides us with the ability to live. It is said that when you breathe out, the closer you become to Source, God, or Oneness – whichever name resonates with you, and when you breathe in, the closer this presence becomes to you.
Once we’ve tuned into this, an empowering meditation can be to turn our focus on what we’re welcoming in and releasing. For example,
Inhale: “I welcome in the healing required for my growth”
Exhale: “I release all expectations”
Once you are in deep relaxation and feel completed, you can set you mind to doing this ‘automatically’ as you go about your day. Throughout the day, should you need it, you can always return to this quality of presence by simply closing your eyes and reminding yourself of your breath.
Air - always there, never seen. Keeping us alive, allowing us to breathe.