Lift your vibration series: Breath.
“As long as you have breath you have options”- Imani Cohen
I was first introduced to the practice of breath control, also known as pranayama, in 2018. One of my mothers dearest friends, C. Marie Long, was hosting a workshop on the topic. She had just returned from traveling the world and is a well practiced yogi. During her class she showed us how to retrain our breath and told us we had been misinformed on how to properly breathe. She showed us about three different meditative breathing techniques to assist in healing traumas, illnesses, and clearing your energetic channels. I had never forgotten her lesson in retraining and controlling your breath. From then on I realized I had been inhibitating myself from being in a better state of being. Even though I wasn’t consistent at 18 with much of anything, especially spiritually, I began to implement it into my life in moments where I truly needed it, and it has never ceased to fail me. I even showed my closest friends when they were having bad times and felt there was nothing to do but revel in their deepest emotions.
There are many theories surrounding the importance of breath. I remember my 9th grade english teacher telling our class that you are born with a certain amount of breaths. Say, for instance, if you are a runner your life span is a lot shorter than people who aren’t. He was a habitual runner and was the coach of the cross country team so the irony of him saying it is what led me to believe there had to be some truth to it. Breath control can be found in so many different forms: acting, yoga, martial arts, running, dancing, singing, rapping, the list goes on. I personally have experienced the power of breath in martial arts, yoga, working out, and meditation.
In martial arts my sensei told me every punch I throw, every kick I land, he must hear the force of my breath. The breath sounds like a quick hiss and in doing so you naturally contract your core to implement natural force. He was a seventh degree black belt. He told us never has he met anyone who can move fast in a ring and breathe slow. Your breath must match your movements so you have more than just strength backing you in the ring, you have raw energy.
I learned if you can control your breath you can quite literally control every vital organ in your body. When we are panting and gasping for breath it puts even more strain on our bodies to push the oxygen throughout our bodies. In the practice of yoga you are told to “inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly” when trying to get a deeper stretch. The more oxygen you intake the more it goes to your blood cells and allows you to contract and expand them. The art of slow and in control plays a vital misrepresented part in this act.
You can train yourself to practice deep breathing while physically training. You sink into a meditative state and forget about the pain. I remember one night I came home from working a 10 hour shift. I had promised myself I was going to make the time to get in shape after work for at least 20 minutes. So I decided to go on a night run with my friend. I noticed he was running so effortlessly, even though he had not been working out at all prior to that night. His pace remained the same and his face remained neutral. At first I was thinking it was because he had always had a natural athletic build and essense about him. But the closer I paid attention, his breath was deep and rhythmic. I began to mimic his breath and at first it was hard to do, but I caught the rhythm. It was as if I felt nothing else. I was completely focused on breathing and propelling my body forward. We ran throughout the whole neighborhood for 20
minutes nonstop at night. That was yet another confirming moment for me that If I could control my breath I could conquer anything.
Breath is life, the process of our bodies filtering oxygen into carbon dioxide is a natural and effortless thing. Just like living our everyday lives in our environment, we internalize, take notice, and from there it is our choice to filter through it. We can make the best of it or hold onto our emotions until we suffocate. I decided to start here in this series because of this belief. I think that sharing my experiences and how I created my own routine to assist in filtering through life can help many others do the same. I created a 20 minute breath sequence by pulling from books I’ve read , such as “Healing Fear and Trauma with Pranayama and Qigong” by C. Marie Long. And by implementing kemetic yoga into my spiritual hygiene routine.
The routine consists of deep belly breathing, breathing in four second increments. Depending on how I am feeling I do this 4-10 times before transitioning into a more strenuous form of breath. This ancient technique is known as fire breathing.This can be very difficult when first starting out but keep trying. Mastering this technique will help you master your body and your life force energy known as chi. This quick, rapid fire breath relieves stress immediately by forcefully pushing oxygen rapidly throughout the body directly from your core. In the end of the sequence I end it with a breath sequence for healing inner traumas. You alternate from your thumb and index finger closing your nostrils to breathe in through them. This breath technique alone is very powerful.You become very present in the act of breathing due to the rhythmic hand movements. There is no room for worry or fears, just breath.
Check out our instagram page @beamorganix to watch the video on this simple and very effective breath sequence.