In practice this evening, the breath was everything. Simply sitting, for who knows how long, listening to every inhale and exhale. Pranayama, or breath control, is (in my opinion) the heart of practice. Steady flow of breath, full lungs/empty lungs, hearing the breath purring in the ears. It’s sets the rhythm that eventually allows you to float into a deeper meditation.
A simple practice of Vinyasa is a great way to become “friends” with your breath. Vinyasa, the process of connecting movement and breath, nurtures the relationship between body and mind. From Hero’s Pose:
- Inhale, raise the arms overhead; exhale, lower them back down
- Inhale, raise the arms and lift the chin; exhale, lower arms and chin to chest
- Inhale, raise the arms and lift the chin; exhale, lower the arms and move into Child’s Pose
- Inhale, lift onto all fours in Cow; exhale, round the spine to Cat, then back to Child’s Pose
- Inhale, sweep the arms up and overhead as you come back to Hero; exhale, release the palms to the heart center.
Repeat this sequence as many times as you like. Give your body, mind and breath a chance to become friends!