Are You Breathing?

Are You Breathing?

No – really, are you breathing? Well, I certainly hope so. You wouldn’t be reading too much further into this post if you were not.

But seriously; are you truly breathing?? A breath that keeps you nourished, oxygenated and healthy? Many people do not understand the importance of breath.

Approaching it from the science side, there are many systems in the body that are totally dependent on the ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide in the body. If the body’s level of oxygen drops to a certain level, systems begin to shut down; kinda like an emergency mode, where non-essential systems (like metabolism) slow or shut down.

Moving along at the speed of LIFE, we often find ourselves in this constant fight-or-flight mode that leaves our bodies starved for oxygen. From the yogic perspective, this also limits your intake and quality of prana or lifeforce. Breathing is one of the major ways to bring in and move this lifeforce. (Note for the yogis: sometimes people think that the term “pranayama”in yoga means simply breathing techniques, even though the breath is only one of the many ways to move prana – other pranayama techniques include mantra and yantra – anything that controls {yama} lifeforce {prana}).

You could say that the way you breathe your breath is how you live your life.

Studying the breath has become a major portion of my practice, having recently picked back up my restorative breathwork apprenticeship with Kathleen Barratt of Barratt Breathworks. Check out her site at www.BarrattBreathworks.com.

When discussing the breath and any conscious, cultivated breaths, I always like to quote Goswami Kriyanandaji – “[the breath] is like a sharp knife — used precisely, it is very effective; but if you wave it around, someone is going to get hurt.” Breathwork practices are extremely powerful.

The Barratt Breathworks model approaches the breath in a simple but potent way that helps to dismantle ineffective breathing patterns and restore the natural adaptability of the breath. It helps you to figure out where in your body your breath moves; or doesn’t. It unites breathwork, mindfulness and energy flow in a way that brings you more in tune with yourself. And, eventually, opens you up to permitting the natural intelligence of your breath to move through your body in a way that brings healing, health, and a deep spiritual awareness.

The breath can heal you; open you; nurture you; connect you back to spirit. Really.

Whether you are an experienced yogi with a regular pranayama practice, or just someone who is ready to be more open to this life, Kathleen is facilitating a Restorative Breathwork Weekend at Uttara in January, details below. I’ll be there assisting for my apprenticeship. If you are interested, register soon, space is limited.

And really; it’s about time you started to truly LIVE; and to truly BREATHE . . . . .

Saturday, January 7 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Sunday, January 8 from Noon to 4:00 pm

Barratt Breathworks Restorative Breathwork Weekend —
Combines Hatha Yoga, Breathwork and Meditation; Facilitated By Kathleen Barratt. This program is tailored both for the beginner as well as the experienced student of Restorative Breathwork. Emphasis on exploring the interrelationship between breath and energy and its dynamic influence on consciousness as well as physical health and well-being.

Dynamics are specially designed for small groups to provide one on one attention from Kathleen. Fee $125. For more information please call 540-966-6703 or visit http://www.barrattbreathworks.com/. Pre-register by December 30; continuing education credits are granted in accordance with Yoga Alliance.

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