Even most successful iconic persons such as Steve Jobs used to start the day with a short spell of meditation on his breath. He shared with us, “I notice a difference from the moment I meditate. I can be stressed, or tired, and I can go into a meditation and it all just flows off of me. I’ll come out of it refreshed and centered and that’s how I’ll feel and it’ll carry through the day.”
Yes, if we want to carry through the day that demands so much from us, we need to tune our body-mind-breath with the Universal body-mind-breath first thing in the morning, through exercise, yoga, pranayama (breathing) and meditation. When we are centered we don’t collect stress, but stop it as it comes, with our calm and powerful mind.
Stress, per se, is not bad; it is part of life. It is not only inevitable, but is good as it hones our attention and helps better performance But when we keep accumulating it without release, then it turns into chronic stress, which is bad. We must make sure we empty our physical-mental-emotional bins before they start to stink. If toxins are accumulated in the bins of body-mind, then it would lead to the chronic stress that is a killer!
Pranayama or focused breathing practice is the gateway to the intuitive world of infinite knowledge and inner bliss. Breath bridges the gap between instinctive mind and your intuitive Self. As we inflate and deflate our abdomen by mindful inhalation and exhalation, breathing again like a baby with deep, abdominal natural breaths, smiling to the Universe, we are ever safe in our natural state. Relax, breathe, let go of all toxins, and the Universe smiles back!
Breath is mystical. Breath is life. Breath is not only the bridge between body and mind but also between the individual and the universal. It is your one stop solution for every misery and unhappiness in life. We may not observe that every inhalation is new, fresh life energy that Universe fills us with, and every exhalation is release of all the negative emotions and clutters of body-mind. But if only we could love our breath as much as many sense-appealing transient pleasures of illusive life, we would be always in a state of happiness and health, love and compassion, harmony and peace. This is a proven truth, based on much scientific research.
We can change our thoughts, emotions and our inner world through deep mindful breaths. When we are feeling anxious we can always shift our consciousness from the anxiety response or stress response to the relaxation response by focusing on our breath, taking three deep inhalations and exhalations and counting the breaths. Once we shift our mind’s focus away from the negative energy of anxiety to the positive power of our vital force (in the East called Chi or Prana), transformation begins. It will definitely release our stress. This breath work needs to become a life practice.
We can try this simple practice whenever we detect disturbing thoughts or emotions stealing the peace of our mind. Don’t feel bad or guilty, and start to fight it out, the more we resist the more it will frustrate us. Take a deep breath, hold the breath for a few seconds, and exhale deep, slow and long, witnessing the negative energies melting away into the light of the Universe. Observe the thoughts for a few seconds without judgment, and let go! We fill our self with light as we breathe in; empty our self of all toxins of body-mind as we breathe out. Yes, we tune our breath as we prepare to see win-win situations through out the day!
The fun part is, we have the prana or chi in abundance, and we breathe this abundance of Mother Nature all the time since our very birth in this body, but we never acknowledge the grace that breath brings into our life, we don’t watch it, surf it, observe or become mindful of this infinite grace that makes life in this body possible to experience this physical world with all its wonders. We pay for it (oxygen cylinders) when we take our daily stress to the level where our natural power to breathe is lost and we are forced to take the assistance of oxygen support. I take time everyday (depending upon my free time) to do deep breathing and simple pranayama practices and that keeps me young and agile and fit to flow through the life with all its challenges. You too can do it and I tell you It Works!!!