The Breath of Love
“Ancient Yogis and Masters of Light have taught that all answers lie within. The breath is the doorway to this inner experience. Babaji the great Indian mystic said that the “Breath is the gateway between the Visible and Invisible World.” It is the way that we can access the unconscious. For the breath is the only bodily function that we can completely ignore or completely choose conscious control over. There is none other. It is unique. It is powerful, and it is right under our noses.”
Every inhale is an opportunity to take in what you need, and every exhale, an invitation to let go of what you don’t. As we welcome Valentine’s Day this month, we encourage you to take a moment and learn to breathe in love, our Valentine’s gift to you. While Valentine’s Day may be another Hallmark Holiday that you have learned to ignore and possibly deplore, we invite you this year to stop and literally smell the roses for no other reason than for you. You don’t have to buy into any of the industry fluff this gift is free to you from the bottom of our hearts. But, do take the time to breath, be present, go within and realize that love is truly all you need and it is within you every moment of everyday and can not be found anywhere or within anyone else. No one can give you what is already yours. You have the power to tap into this resource whenever you want it and we have a few tools to get you there. Remember to breathe deep, let the breath fill your heart space and on the exhale smile and feel the breath bathe every cell in your body with love, kindness and boundless energy. Do this when you least feel like it that is when real transformation will occur. Numerous studies have shown that smiling, even when we are not happy, triggers endorphins in our brain and actually makes us happy. So breathe, smile and feel love. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti…
Practice this for 5 minutes or up to an hour daily when you need to bring love and energy into your being, or just anytime. Read through until you have it committed to memory, as you can’t practice with your eyes closed and read at the same time. Or, just choose one mantra and sit with that.
Sit comfortably in a chair or cross-legged on the floor. Sit up straight, relax your shoulders down and away from your ears, close your eyes. Place your hands in your lap or on your knees. Take a few deep breaths to let go of the stresses of the day. Be. Here. Now.
1) Beginners: Once comfortable with this move onto to #2.
Begin to breathe in a connected manner through your slightly parted lips and open mouth so that there is no pause between the inhale and the exhale. Breathe at a pace that is faster than normal but not so fast that you are panting. Relax your whole being through the exhale. After a few breaths when you feel you have a comfortable rhythm, begin to repeat the following affirmations. Stay with each affirmation for around 10 seconds (5 seconds on the inhale and five seconds on the exhale) and then move to the next affirmation.
- It is safe to breathe
- Breathing is easy
- It is safe to love
- I breathe in love
- I am open to receiving love fully and freely
- I am open to expressing love fully and freely
- I deserve only love
- I am lovable
- I am loving
- I am love
- I am joy
And when you are ready, close your mouth and take a few natural breaths through the nose, nothing forced, and come back into this time and place. Sit with the energy and emotion that this practice has evoked, feel the love. All that is needed is for us to bring consciousness to each and every breath.
Once you have established nostril breathing move onto to #3. Eyes and mouth closed, with a slight smile, inhale through the nose for 5 seconds pausing at the top of each inhale and hold for 5 seconds, exhale through the nose for 5 seconds and at the bottom of each exhale pause for 5 seconds and follow the instructions with the affirmations above.
3) Advanced practitioners:
When you are comfortable with nostril breathing you will add a visual element, here, a green flame, representing the heart chakra, Annahata. Imagine a green ball of light entering through the pelvic floor on the inhale, rising up the spine, the shushumna, filling your heart center, continuing up and resting at the third eye point. Pause and hold for 5 seconds. Focus on the green ball becoming a flickering green flame resting at the third eye point. On the exhale let your inner gaze follow the flickering green flame all the way down and out thought the pelvic floor, drawing your navel in at the bottom of the exhale, expelling all stale air and stagnant emotion. Pause and hold on empty for 5, drawing the pelvic floor in and up, navel to spine and chin slightly dropped. Inhale for 5 and repeat sequence for 5 minutes and up to an hour. Practice a few rounds and then start to include the affirmations above. Namaste.
Photo credit: Lovewallpaper.com