Breath work is an ancient practice – cultures around the world since the dawn of humanity have been using the breath as a way to take in spiritual nourishment, purify the body, cultivate presence and to move into expanded states of consciousness. Some practices, like yoga pranayama, are very formal and prescribed, where certain types of breath control are used for specific purposes. Other forms like conscious circular or holotropic breath work are more organic and unstructured. All forms are extremely beneficial and powerful life practices.
When Prana awakens within you, you embrace the transcendental consciousness of the Divine.
One of the forms of breath work that I have been embracing and sharing with others is the Breath of Bliss. This is a circular breath work practice which becomes a portal into our emotions, memories, sensations, dreams and consciousness. I have experienced and witness incredible transformation from this practice. Although Breath of Bliss (BOB) encompasses an entire group ceremony, you can still practice the breath at home on your own. Here is a short how to for those of you wanting to practice alone.
BOB is done through the mouth on both the inhale and exhale. The jaw is relaxed, the mouth is open, the body fully relaxed.
BOB Inhale: The inhale is expansive, ripe, full and luscious. It is easy, full and welcoming. The lungs expand freely, the abdomen easily inflates, and the heart and body opens. The inhalation is an invitation to feel more alive. Imagine hiking up a mountain and once you get to the top you witness the most incredible vista – the awe you might express in the breath at that moment, this is the BOB Inhale.
BOB Exhale: The exhale is a complete liberation. You let go without any force or effort. We release control and everything that does not serve anymore. It is a total surrender and you luxuriate in emptiness.
BOB Lack of Pause: This is very important – there is no pause at all between in the inhalation and exhalation. The inhale starts up immediately after the exhale and the exhale begins the moment the inhale ends. We let go of the pause to keep prana (vital life force) circulating in the body and flowing rapturously.
So how do I do this? Create a comfortable nest for yourself on the floor. Play some non lyrical music that you love. Lie down and begin to breathe. Circular breaths, connecting to the source, opening the body. Stay with the breath for 5-20 minutes or even longer. When you are done, rest and breathe normally for several minutes.