Pranic Breathing: The Key to Both Relaxation and Energy
Slow, rhythmic pranic breathing is the key that unlocks the peace within you.
But slow, rhythmic pranic breathing helps remedy all these situations. It relaxes the muscles of the torso, restores flexibility to the diaphragm, and enables the chakras to become synchronized. The result is a calm¬ing effect, as well as a buildup of energy. Pranic breathing thus helps you both to relax and to energize, to stay tranquil and to stay alert—which is a pretty good way to go through your daily activities!
In Yoga and Pranayama, Breath Control = Life Control
In yogic thinking, life is measured not according to the number of years lived but according to the number of breaths taken in that lifetime. This gives us a better understanding of why yoga places so much emphasis on slowing down and on controlling or holding the breath. In yoga, the formal practice of breath control is called pranayama, which, as noted earlier, is derived from the words prana (“life force” or “breath”) and ayama (“length” or “expansion”). Of course, this is also an extension of yogic philosophy’s understanding of the connection between breathing, energy, health, and well-being. In increasing the length of the breath and the number of breaths taken, as well as holding the breath in certain ways, the yoga practitioner calms the mind, generates more prana, and increases his or her lifespan.
Exercise 3.4 Optimum Pranic Breathing Rhythm and Retention: 7-1-7-1
There are many different systems that teach breathing rhythm as a method of increasing energy or promoting relaxation. The 7-1-7-1 taught in Pranic Healing and Arhatic Yoga was determined through clairvoy¬ant observation to be the optimum for those starting out their breathing practice. It’s easy to remember and thus practice. But it also produces a significant amount of energy.
(Note: If you have hypertension, don’t hold your breath longer than one second. Pranic breathing stimulates all the chakras, and especially the navel and the meng mein. The meng mein controls the blood pres¬sure, and if you hold your breath too long, it could unsafely increase your blood pressure.)
- Put your tongue on your palate and keep it there as you breathe.
- Inhale for 7 counts, in the pranic breathing manner you learned in exercise 3.1.
- Hold for 1 count.
- Exhale for 7 counts.
- Hold for 1 count.