What’s On Your Mind? Part 2:
Breath, Prana & the Mind
Breath & Prana (Vital Life Force)
Breath is both automatic and can be consciously worked with when we bring our awareness to it. It is one of our most overlooked resources, yet, we use it every day, at every moment. Breath is an innate expression of the Blueprint for health and full potential within our own brilliant system.
When we look at our breath patterns and how it flows, or not, we can get a look into how our energy is flowing in the moment. Our breath patterns also affect our senses–our doors of perception. Which affects what we pay attention to, and how we take in this information.
When the breath is shallow, short, or rough, we may be in a state of stress, and this in turn shifts how our senses take in the world and how we react to the world. When our breath is smooth, slow, subtle, quiet, even, we experience a more spacious awareness in the mind, and our senses receive the world differently, and we respond with skillful compassion to ourselves and the world.
When the breath is smooth and subtle, the mind’s reflection is clear, luminous, —is its true nature. This clarity informs the five senses that allow us to hear, touch, see, taste and
smell, which in turn influences our learning and ability to act skillfully in our life—to speak, grasp, move, reproduce, and eliminate toxins out of our system. When we consciously work with the breath to extend the vital life force into prana through pranayama it further supports our energy, the sensory motor loop and the mind.
Swami Rama, a Himayalan master teacher, shares:
“We can work on the mind for lifetimes or the breath for one…”
“Breath is the bridge between your body and your thinking process called mind…”
- “Your Mind and your Breath are two great friends, inseparable friends, they work together.”
We want our breath, our vital life force, and our mind to be in service of our life and the learning we are here to do on planet Earth. We want to be able to bring more joy, love, freedom, happiness, and peace to ourselves and others, and release habits that cause suffering.
The habits of our breath reflect our habits of our mind and consciousness. It affects the conditioning of our senses and our response to our life. We can transform our breath through awareness and practice to bring ourselves into a clear, calm, peaceful state to support our life purpose and bring forward our gifts and learning in the world. The breath is like the wind in the world, it shapes earth, and it also shapes our earthly body. The breath informs our mind’s patterning, its flow, function, and form.
Thankfully our breath can happen without our awareness, but what happens when we bring inquiry and attention to our breath patterns?
Today’s Invitations for Self Study:
Tune into your breath–what are its qualities? Rough, dry, heavy? Or smooth, calm, easy, subtle, unctuous (oily)? Where are you feeling your breath in your body? Notice what is going on when your breath is shallow in your body verses when you find your breath lower in the body? How is your state of mind when your breath is lower? How is your state of mind when your breath is shallow? Explore your breath.
Take three moments today to pay attention to your inhalation and exhalation for one minute, it can be longer if you like, but note how this affects your breathing patterns, your mind and your sense and motor organs?
Keep a breath journal for the day, note qualities, state of mind, and what happens when you bring your awareness to your breath? What happens to your energy levels when you pay attention to how you are breathing and consciously shift it? Note how you begin to experience a simple but profound expression of the Blueprint for Health and Potential within and around you through the breath.
Download this 13 minute free guided exploration on breath to support you today.
With deep Love, Remember you are light,
Elizabeth Sullivan is an expert instructor, certified yoga therapist, and practitioner in Yoga, Energy Work and Ayurveda. She supports the body to optimally function using neuromuscular reeducation and working with energy patterns. By integrating and aligning body, mind and spirit energy, she creates relaxation, increased energy flow, optimized sleep and a clear mind for her clients. Her work helps people hold higher consciousness to live their optimal lives. Elizabeth offers private lessons, group classes and workshops, and online programs for health practitioners, and also writes for health publications. She holds advanced degrees in Dev. Psychology, Education and Writing, along with certifications in each instructional area. To learn more, visit elizabetheilerssullivan.com.
Elizabeth Sullivan, MFA, MA, BA, Certified Yoga Therapy, Energy Medicine