Breathing your way to vital energy

Balaka Ghosal By Balaka Ghosal, 3rd May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Work Issues & Stress

This article is about how we can feel empowered simply by becoming conscious of our own breathing process. Becoming aware of how we are breathing and making slight changes towards the perfect recipe of breathing can make a complete paradigm shift in the quality of life we are leading, be it in the work place or within the domains of our personal life.

Awareness as a living entity:

Simply stand on your two feet slightly parted, with your eyes closed. Feel your body poised beautifully on the earth, feet planted into the ground, giving you stability like two plug points solidly inserted into the sockets. If your body is swaying a little, simply observe the swaying and gently ask your body to steady itself into a relaxed stillness. Take in a slow deep breath and feel the air flowing through your nostrils filling you up, your chest rising and swelling to take in the fresh air to the deepest parts of the lungs. In our busy urban lives, we often breath halfheartedly and feebly, not filling up the lungs to the brim. Invite the air to the remotest corners where it has not been in a long while. Travel into your lungs with the air and beyond. Gently breathe out the stale air through your nose and observe your rib cage and navel's natural sinking. As you breathe in again, visualize your navel rising. Imagine the vital energy of the breath surging up through your legs, filling you up like liquid flowing into your body, filling you up all the way from the soles of your feet to the top of your head, engulfing you with a radiating light and giving you all the positive energy you have been waiting for. As you breathe out again, imagine all your stress and negative thoughts percolating through your body and leaving you through the feet as your body releases them into the terra firma , the largest magnet around you. Repeat that breathing a few times until you feel the vital energy emerging in your head like a glowing sun in the horizon. Stare into your forehead from the inside, keep looking intently into the fathomless space ahead of you. This is the sky of your mind, the Chidakash, your personal zone of comfort where you can seek refuge. Feel like a bird flying through the cloudless sky to meet the sun yonder. Feel empowered with a causeless happiness through this new-found breathing mechanism.

The natural breath process

The breathing process naturally oscillates between the two nostrils throughout the dy. If you hold your thumbs under your nostrils and steadily exhale into them, you will soon be able to tell that one of the nostrils is letting out a powerful gust of air while the other one is feeble. In about an hour's time, the other nostril will take over. During the switchover, there is a short transition time when both nostrils remain equally active. You might wonder over this cyclical change of guards between the nostrils. You are right if you have guessed that this has a clear and definite purpose.
Each nostril is empowered to rejuvenate a cluster of nerves along the spine. Each of these nerve clusters, names Ida and Pingala, comprise two major energy circuits which can be manipulated by our breathing. Ida is the cluster on the left side of the body taking care of the left side and Pingala is the set of nerves that are situated on the right side of the spine responsible for the right side body. The natural cyclic process of breathing actually have been responsible for controlling the finer bio-rhythm of the body, helping us to bring harmony and a sense of equilibrium in our body and mind. When both nostrils breath equally, both Ida and Pingala are energized, the third circuit of nerves is automatically activated and rejuvenated. This third circuit is called the Shushumna which is situated towards the upper extremes of the spine, behind the forehead. This third circuit is responsible in awakening our spiritual actions and thoughts. The goal of all yogic practices is to achieve this activating of the Shushumna nerve cluster since it brings about a unique calmness in the mind.

The Alternate Nostril Breathing

The natural cyclic breathing process changes over every hour or an hour and twenty minutes. The left nostril breathing energizes the thinking abilities and the mental energies of people whereas the right nostril breathing instills a vital energy in the body and the mind is less alert. Both nostrils presiding together is short-lived and bring about the much-desired balance of the two tendencies of our faculties. However, the alternate nostril breathing known as anulom bilom pranayam is a ready means by which we can make sure that all our nerve circuits are taken care in a very quick manner. A few minutes of practice each day can take care of many ailments in the body. Empty out your lungs with a full and long exhalation. Press down your right nostril with your right thumb and breathe in slowly, say to a count of four, through your left nostril. Now close your left nostril with your ring finger (fourth finger) of the right hand and release the thumb. Breath out through your right nostril using the same time duration as the inhalation. Breathe in now through the right nostril to the count of four, press down your thumb to close your right nostril simultaneously releasing the ring finger and breathing out through the left nostril. This completes one round. This way, you can do up to five or six rounds in the beginning, increasing your count slowly over time. The goal is to breathe slow and deep. This pranayam can be practiced any time of the day, but preferably at day break, dusk and right before bedtime.

Simply mindful

Wherever you are through your day, it is very important to become a conscious breather, a belly-bulging, diaphragm-lowering, rib-cage-widening breather. Once you start watching your breath, it always tends to slow down. The effect is intensely healing. Whether you are driving or waiting at the traffic lights, or worse, stuck in a traffic jam your mindful breathing will keep your poised, anchored and calm. A mindful breather will not walk into an argument or a yelling game with anybody. Stressed minds will find its solid ground through the art of mindful breathing. It can be compared to watching yourself in the mirror. Even a child stops crying in front of a mirror, a smile creeps up to its lips. Feel fortunate to have this breathing tool that keeps you alive and full of vigor. Enjoy the power of breathing.


Breath, Breath Easier, Breath Of Life, Breathe, Breathing Exercises, Breathing Meditation, Destress, Energy, Vital Benefits

Meet the author

author avatar Balaka Ghosal
I am a published author in Bengali for children and I am passionate about sustainable living. I educate children about the green habits they can adopt for a healthy future for everybody.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
7th Jun 2013 (#)

Very useful share on Pranayama and its benefits, thank you. We need to find perfect balance, harmony between body, mind and soul to stay healthy mentally and physically - siva

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author avatar Balaka Ghosal
7th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you Siva, for your positive feedback. I sincerely hope this article will help ease some stress for the readers.

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