The Breath of Bliss: How To

The Breath of Bliss: How To

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.

Your Breath: Is it Conscious or Unconscious?

Your Breath: Is it Conscious or Unconscious?

Did you know that the breath is the only function of the body that can be done both consciously and unconsciously? When we bring awareness to our breathing, we are really practicing taking something unconscious, or automatic, and making it conscious. This is a powerful practice whose benefits extend far beyond simple breathing. When we become more and more conscious of our breath we amplify the movement of prana within ourselves, life force energy contained within the breath. Each breath has the ability to create sacred space within ourselves. It can harness our innate capacity to increase our awareness of our senses and the capacity to be present in each and every moment.
This then can translate into the things that we do in our lives automatically, those habits, patterns and thoughts, so we can actually learn to slow down a little bit and make these things conscious. Imagine if our words, our actions and our thoughts were all conscious. 
Our yoga practice is a powerful way to create the space for this transformation from unconscious to conscious. When we are on the mat and we make more room for breath, more room for prana, more awareness, then we can use what we learn in the physical practice and turn it into something that influences the rest of our life. Conscious breath, conscious life.
So where do we start? Always one breath at a time. So right now, pause. Close your eyes. Relax. Breathe in and sigh out. Then take a few conscious breaths – breathe slowly and fill the body. Take your time and notice what you feel. And then consider your next action – whether it contains words or actions and see what happens. The more we can connect our breath into our lives, the greater our capacity to fully awaken into ourselves.
 

purifying poison through the breath

purifying poison through the breath

Amrita, in yoga parlance, is known as the divine nectar and confers immortality upon anyone who tastes it. As the Hindu legends goes, a long, long time ago all of the gods and demons joined forces to try to find the amrita.  After much searching, they discovered that the amrita was buried deep under the ocean floor.  Together they worked to manipulate the tides and churn everything up from the bottom of the ocean of milk.  (more…)