We are quickly reaching that midway point of the year when the Summer Solstice marks longer daylight time, warm breezes and usually a more relaxed time of the year. However, around the world (ours) shake-ups in all strata of life are happening at an alarming pace and with an intensity that is mind-boggling. We are all learning to step up and out and to be in our truth, whatever form that takes, but it is recommended that we not focus on or be distracted by the daily traumas of life. Taking a deep breath, slowing down and going within is essential in these critical times and on a regular daily basis.
I remember large, heavy-headed English roses strewing their petals over our driveway when I was a child. In a split second we may close our eyes and relive sense-memories and transport ourselves to our favorite or “happy place”. Stress can be greatly relieved in this way, accompanied by slow, deep breathing that takes us down from beta consciousness (the awake state) to alpha (relaxed mind) and then down to theta (for deep meditation). Beyond that, the delta state of consciousness is deep, dreamless sleep. I was trained in the Silva Mind Control meditation method in the early 90’s and it stayed with me. The introductory book for this great system is readily available in paperback form.
There are many other methods of breathing exercises to assist our wellbeing, including Pranic breathing that may be more invigorating. Pranayama is the foundation of yoga practice. It all begins with deep breathing and stretching the breath, then moves into more advanced breathing exercises such as Kapalabhati (for cleansing), Bhastrika (bellows breath for boosting metabolism) and Nadi Shodhana (the Alternate Nostril Breath) amongst others. The Sohum breathing technique is accompanied by a visualization and mantra. These and other techniques can be easily found on the internet and integrated into your meditation practice.
I recently fell in the street and fractured my nose – not a pretty sight during or after! Suddenly, I was unable to breathe through my nose and this was disturbing to say the least. Instinctively, deep breathing through the mouth helped to calm me down. We often forget how powerful the breath is and how it can strengthen the body and bring us to an altered state of consciousness, the place where we can do our inner work. The intelligence of the body is an extraordinary gift that we mostly take for granted.
This Summer, let us all stop and smell the roses whenever we can, and play our part as much in the inner realms as in the outer. We can rest assured that everything is being provided for us on all levels of being. We don’t have to think to breathe but we may choose how best to control the breath for our own health and well-being.
Love, Blessings and Wellness to You,
a/k/a Al Ra Hara Ti-ka