Trust me; it is only comfortable until the tiger starts dreaming…
I do not know about where you are living, but what a week! Temperatures into the 32°C to 37°C range, high humidity, and no end in sight! I’ve turned into a bit of a night owl as of late, enjoying the morning until about ten, and then sleeping until six p.m.; spending the cooler evening and night completing all the activities I enjoy so much to do outside. There is nothing quite like a good hour long session of Yoga and half an hour of Pranayama while you are standing on the highest spot for fifty miles or more under a star filled sky in utter silence – your breath the only intrusion on the serenity of the night.
There is something comfortable about the night. Instead of fearing the dark and what horrors or ravaging beast it may produce, I embrace the ability to melt into the night. In the silence that the wee hours of the morning bring, my thoughts are loud and intrusive – easy to recognize and allow fading into silence. In becoming one with the shadows, I attach more effortlessly with the sense of connectivity and oneness that restores my soul and gives me strength for the next day’s adventures…
We continue today with the remaining five of the ten Tibetan Breaths. I encourage you to perform these breaths as an addition to your regular practices as they bring health, vitality and balance to your entire being. For something new and quite peaceful, perform these breaths outside at night, in a space you feel comfortable and secure in.
The Breath of Vibration:
Stand straight with your arms at your sides, placing your feet several inches apart. Inhale fully and deeply with your mouth closed and hold the breath. Retain the breath as you rotate your arms together out in front of you and then upwards and all the way around three times. The motion should be relatively forceful and yet relaxed at the same time.
After completing the third swing, return your arms to your side and exhale forcefully through the mouth. This completes one breath and should be performed a maximum of seven times. It is best to begin with three breaths as with breaths talked about in part one of the articles found here.
The Sun within the Heart Breath:
To perform the Sun within the Heart Breath, sit in either full lotus or in a cross-legged position with your spine straight and loose. One of the simplest ways of naturally and powerfully sitting is to imagine that your are suspended by an invisible silver thread that starts not in the center of the crown of your head, but begins within the center of Muladhara or what is also known as the root Chakra.
Visualize this invisible silver thread extending upward through each of your Chakras and then leaving through your crown Chakra and disappearing upward. Allow yourself to be suspended naturally in this posture and feel your chakras building energy as they are energized through their connection to the Divine. Your arms should be extended straight out in front of you with your hands clenched into fists with knuckles facing each other and thumbs on top. In this position, exhale fully through the mouth as much as possible.
Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose and pull your fists towards you, visualizing that you are drawing the sun into the center of your chest. When you have completed the inhalation, your fists should be tucked close to your armpits. Hold the breath for as long as you can comfortably and continue to visualize the sun burning brightly in the center of your chest. Holding this position, exhale fully through the mouth and then return your hands to your knees for a moment. This completes one full breath and may be performed a maximum of seven times daily. As before, start with three times and work your way up to seven as you feel comfortable. The Sun within the Heart Breath purifies the heart Chakra which is the center for love and compassion as well as acting on the thymus gland to enhance disease immunity.
Stand straight with your feet about shoulder’s width apart and your hands on your hips. In this position, take a long deep breath through your nose and retain the breath. Still retaining the breath, bend as far to the right as you can comfortably and then bend to the left. Repeat this three times, come up straight and exhale forcefully through the mouth. This completes one full breath and may be repeated to a maximum of seven times per day. As with the others, judge yourself accordingly once you feel comfortable with three complete breaths.
The Initiate’s Breath stimulates lower spinal energy and concentrates the force of the Kundalini Shakti (also known as the sacred source of empowerment) at the base of the spine. This is one of the most powerful of all breaths and is very useful for breaking up blockages in the human energy system.
The Breath of the Immortals:
Stand straight with your feet several inches apart and your hands on your hips. In this position, take a long deep breath in through the nose and retain the breath while tucking your chin into your chest and then swinging your head up and back. This is repeated three times while retaining the breath, insure your back remains straight and you do not become forceful enough to sway your body. In the breath retention phase of this exercise, only the head moves.
After the third swing of your head, exhale forcefully through pursed lips while bending forward as far as is comfortable and then swinging your upper body up and back. This should be repeated three times during the exhale phase. Strive to avoid bending the legs when swinging forward and be aware of your lower back through both the forward swing and backward arch of the exhale.
Upon completion of the third swing during the exhale phase, return to standing upright, hands still on your hips, and inhale through the nose. Relax here for a second normal breath before repeating the Breath of the Immortals to a maximum of seven times. This breath activates all the Chakras and stimulates the flow of Kundalini Shakti. The Breath of the Immortals supercharges the entire glandular system and remains one of the best health-building breaths to practice.
Begin this breath by assuming either a full lotus position, Zazen (on the knees sitting back on heels), or in a chair where you can remain comfortably upright. Your spine should be as straight as possible but not strained. Place your hands behind your head with your fingers interlocking and your elbows straight out to the sides. In this position, inhale fully and deeply through the nose and retain the breath.
Holding the breath, bend forward from the hips as far as is comfortable. Hold this position to a count of seven. Return to the first position and exhale through the mouth with lips pursed. This completes one breath. Shakti Breath may be performed a maximum of seven times daily. As with many of the other breaths, begin with three and advance at your own pace. The Shakti Breath works directly on raising Kundalini energy up the spine and is very powerful. This particular breath is an excellent breath to practice prior to meditation.
Namaste, my friends. May the last weeks of summer be enjoyable for you and your loved ones…Remember; there is no shame in being just a little excited at the kids going back to school!
Sean Rogders J