The fourth article of the series on the breathing techniques at the base of Yoga practice.
Author: Sara B. Levi
ONCE THE MOON HAS BEEN MADE STEADY THE SUN CAN BE MADE TO RISE
In previous articles, we considered various elements of breathing.
1. What the Yoga tradition teaches, what modern medicine teaches us and how to take the first steps towards a conscious way of breathing (Part 1).
2. We have explained why and how a powerful inhalation involves an increase in energy and reactivity, and because a long and deep exhalation helps us to feel rooted, calm and stable (Part 2).
3. We know where and how to direct the air inside the trunk to create a conscious breathing space (Part 3).
In this fourth and last article, we go deep into practicals, revealing two key techniques to control the balance of the nervous system and call us energy when necessary.
Imagine the Energy as a bubble of light, an implosive or explosive power sphere.
Implosion and explosion are the consequence, the action you choose to perform: in other words, the key to any Energy Management strategy is not the consequence that comes from the use of energy, but the ability to collect and direct energy correctly.
This is the purpose of every breathing and meditation technique: awareness.
Awareness is power.
Tradition identifies the human mind with the nickname of "MOON".
What tradition says and that modern science confirms is that there is no real power without control.
We cannot act in the world, build, interact if the mind is not first made stable and peaceful.
In Neuroscience, this process has to do with the function of the parasympathetic nervous system.
When we go through breathing on this part of the nervous system (right hemisphere), we connect with an energy that allows us to relax our thoughts, ponder objectively, feel a sense of calm and pleasure, slow down, take root into the present moment.
From a biological point of view, the function of the moon side of our body is also called the Anabolic function.
Anabolism is the metabolic synthesis of simple molecules in complex molecules. It is the function that we call convalescence, rest, nourishment colloquially. It is activated during sleep and relaxation and is connected to the lunar nostril, in fact, the left.
It is easier to assimilate the decomposed elements (and life experiences) during digestion, breathing through the left nostril.
CONNECTING TO THE MOON
The following is a simple but fundamental breathing technique that has the power, after just 5 minutes of practice, to bring back objectivity, a sense of rootedness and stillness in your life.
- Sit with your legs crossed in a comfortable position
Be sure your hips are slightly higher than your knees.
Close your eyes as described in the previous articles, start practising the Yogic breath
Without poses in the middle, you begin to extend the inspiration and the breath for an account of 4 seconds, and then 6 seconds
- Stay connected with this flow by paying attention to every part of breathing, exploring the sensations and limits we believe we have
- After stabilising this ratio for at least 5 rounds (1 round is an inhale and exhale cycle), add a 4 seconds pose at the end of the exhalation
- Pay attention, during the exhalation, to the movement of the navel towards the spine, and completely emptying the lungs without creating agitation in mind, hold the breath out for 4 seconds
- Now the ratio will, therefore, be 6: 6: 4, with this 4 seconds holding at the bottom of the exhale
- Explore this new experience, and the feeling of stillness and calmness during the hold (the traditional name is Kumbaka)
- Once completed at least 5 rounds, release kumbaka and come back to an even breathe, extending the inhalation and the exhalation for a count of 9
- The ratio now is 9:9
After 5 rounds, add Kumbaka, breath retention at the bottom of the exhale, for a count of 6
- The new ratio now is 9: 9: 6
Take your time to become familiar with it. Take the time to communicate, teach your mind that there is no danger in controlled breath retention, indeed.
- That moment is precisely the message that the nervous system was waiting for, the slow down signal in which to focus attention and seek a feeling of calm, timeless time, effortless effort.
The ratio of the technique
6: 6 (5 to 10 rounds)
6: 6: 4 (5 to 10 rounds)
9: 9 (5 to 10 rounds)
9: 9: 6. (5 to 10 rounds)
The sun symbol has always represented energy, life force and propulsion.
Tradition defines with the sun, Prana himself, and that energy which we call to us from the outside inwards, gathering it in the central area of the chest, through the inspiration.
Prana is the need for activation, inspiration, movement, motivation, joy, love.
Scientifically speaking, connected to the sympathetic nervous system, left hemisphere, right nostril.
From a biological point of view, the sun side of the body is also called the Catabolic Function.
Catabolism is the metabolic decomposition of complex molecules into simple molecules. It occurs during the digestion of food. When we eat and decompose food in the stomach, we breathe through the right nostril. Similarly, the activation of a solar, analytical and distinctive mind allows us to transform our emotions (E-MOTION) into motion, taking what we need from the outside, energy, experience, and turning it into fuel for body mind and spirit.
CONNECTING TO THE SUN
The technique is almost the same as that described in the Moon phase, but with substantial distinctions: instead of the Yogi Breath we use a base technique called Pure Breathing.
Here the way to set the base:
- Inhale directly into the chest
- Exhale, bringing the navel towards the spine and at the same time relaxing the belly with the contracting pelvic floor, the diaphragm and the centre of the heart.
After to be calm, confident and wholly established in Pure breathing, we can start the technique.
- Technically speaking what is going to change in the ratio, is position breath retention's positioning, or Kumbaka.
- Being the primary objective to energise, restart and restart, after the first rounds without pause, we introduce kumbaka at the top of the inhalation.
- By holding the breath with oxygen filled lungs and dropping the mind into the heart centre, we can experience a feeling of warmth, activation and energy.
- Crucial is the position of the chin which must naturally remain parallel to the ground or potentially slightly lowered towards the collarbone.
Chin slightly downward is to create a real containment of energy in the upper part of the trunk, through the use of the neck muscles.
We want this technique to allow us to collect as much energy as possible, ready to be addressed in any daily life activity.
The ratio therefore in this second case is:
6: 4: 6
9: 6: 9
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
By practicing these techniques whenever you see fit, you access an immediate effect on your life experience.
Practising these techniques at least once a day, potentially in the morning (SUN) and/or in the evening (MOON), for 40 days, you find a palpable positive change in the way you perceive and face the situations of life, especially the less simple ones.
A prolonged practice positively affects and reprograms the nervous system, leaving the space open for a new way of perceiving life.
A more conscious way, which allows us to RESPOND RATHER THAN REACT, TO THE THOUSANDS OF CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE ON WHICH WE HAVE NO DIRECT CONTROL AND THAT CREATED ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION IN THE PAST.
This is the real goal and meaning of ENERGY MANAGEMENT.
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