Breath is life but we pay very little attention to the importance of proper breathing in our daily lives. To a Yogi, there are two main functions of proper breathing: to bring more oxygen to the blood and thus to the brain; and to control prana or vital energy, which leads to the control of the mind.
Breathwork is a simple, powerful breathing technique, accessible to everyone. Because our breath is a bridge between body, mind, and spirit, each session becomes a platform for transformational work and healing.
As adults we often lose the effortless and full rhythmic breathing we had as babies and we tend to breathe in shallow short breaths which restricts the flow of our life force energy (prana).
In this practice, we will relearn how to breathe properly and completely. We will recalibrate our nervous system, which will result in an open heart and greater love for self; healing of grief and trauma; and increased joy, happiness, and abundance.
This practice is a seated breath meditation taught by the Buddha called Anapanasati or Mindfulness of Breathing. It is a preparatory practice for Vipassana Meditation as it uses conscious breathing to help concentrate the mind, which is needed in order to develop vipassana or insight.
You will find that as you improve in your sitting practice, your asana practice deepens as well as your concentration becomes sharper that you begin to discover the inner dimensions of your life. This self-discovery, practiced with self-acceptance and equanimity, allows you to change destructive habit patterns and therefore your life and relationships. This is the essence of spiritual practice.
Somatic meditation means “of the body” in contrast to “of the mind” or the psyche. The Soma points us to the raw material of the human body rather than the mind. We connect with the inherent, self-existing wakefulness that is already present within our body itself.
In contrast to conventional approaches that emphasize entry through the conscious mind and following conceptual instruction templates, Somatic Meditation develops a meditative consciousness that is accessed through the feelings, sensations, somatic intuition, and felt sense of the body itself.
From here, we can realize that the ultimate meditative state is not found outside, above, or in some other place, but is discovered as the most essential and profound reality of this very human body of ours, just waiting for us to awaken to it.
Once we experience our body as an intelligent, communicating whole, we will see that it has, in fact, much information for us, for our conscious ego, about what our human experience means – where it may be directing us – and also about how we can live our lives in light of that experience on the practical levels.
In Somatic Meditation, we meet the body as a coherent intelligence with a point of view, a process with direction, a source of wisdom, and a limitless benevolence. We see now that it holds and “wants” to protect our entire person; and it constantly communicates information, whether about our own innermost journey, about what is ultimately real in this present existence of ours, or about how to handle specific situations in our lives. It is a supremely intelligent dynamism, a living force, a supreme guardian and guide in our own process of living, loving and unfolding.
This guided meditation practice is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation.
During this practice, one appears to be asleep, but the consciousness is functioning at a deeper level of awareness. For this reason, it is often referred to as psychic sleep or deep relaxation with inner awareness.
In this threshold state between sleep and wakefulness, contact with the subconscious and unconscious dimensions occurs spontaneously. It offers a space to explore what you need in the moment, as well as an opportunity to work on releasing long-held emotions.