Our breathing lies a deeper connection with our existence. In my own journey of exploration, I’ve discovered 10 important truths about our breathing that most laymen are not aware of.
- Breathing is the only physiological function within human body that is both voluntary and involuntary, this means we have the capability of altering our breathing at will or let it happen on its own by the central nervous system. Through the Divine’s creation, this capability is only possible in human body.
- From the most ancient scriptures – Shiva Sutras, breathing is considered one of the powerful techniques which can be used to improve human’s physiological functions and create certain energy circuit for healing, health and vitality. Simply by infusing awareness in breathing with proper techniques, we can alter the energy level, the state of health as well as experience the highest possibilities if it is done through proper guidance.
- The human body is a microcosm of the macrocosm (Universe) because both are made of the same 5 elements (pancha bhutas) – earth, water, fire, air & ether. The air element relates to our breathing which holds the key to experience the subtlest element i.e. the space of consciousness. The breath is the bridge between the body and the mind, it is also the bridge between us and Existence. To begin any spiritual awareness, working on one’s body through the breath awareness should be the first step towards self discovery.
- Whenever we have too much inner chatters, it reduces the efficiency of our breathing process in terms of absorption of prana (life energy) into our body. Most people do not know how to breathe properly and completely such that prana intake is downloaded properly into the entire body. Due to a lack of awareness, bad postures, certain life traumas and insatiable desires, we gradually block the natural effortless breathing process. Hence, breath awareness brings you back to your presence.
- Breathing is not a linear process, it is a 4-part cyclical process i.e. incoming breath, a gap or neutral zone, outgoing breath, another gap or neutral zone. In each neutral zone, we become empty, there is no identity, no thoughts, only stillness. However, if you are uncomfortable because of fear of losing this identity, you immediately skip the neutral zones, therefore missing the space of consciousness. There is a saying “God resides in the gaps“, so being relaxed in the gap or pause of each breath is the key to experience god consciousness.
- If you look at the science of breathing at a spiritual level, every incoming breath, we are infused with energy from prana shakti which makes us feel rejuvenated while every outgoing breath, we are infused with intelligence or wisdom as every incident teaches us something about life. So the whole day we are flooded with both energy and intelligence continuously. Every moment we are thoughts (matter) & energy, both are dancing in our inner space, playing the whole game of existence.
- Our breathing relates to our pranic energy body which holds all our desires (both true desires and borrowed desires). You can find out your parabdha (true desires) through deeper breath work. Our desires and emotions have an impact on our breathing process because the state of mind & breath are closely related. For e.g. more desires lead to faster & heavy breathing.
- If we can be comfortable in the gaps or neutral zones, we experience Gnana Shakti (the power of wisdom) by which true source of inspiration comes from, the Spirit (energy). True inspirations do not come from the identity (matter) but from a space of stillness. If one is comfortable in the neutral spaces, a new source of inspiration and creativity arises from deep within.
- Working on breath through techniques of pranayama (breath control) or kriya (cleansing technique) can awaken the inner potential energy within us, the Kundalini Shakti and leads us to experience the highest space. However, this process is best done by a master’s initiation which takes care of a proper transformation.
- Finally, on a more mystical level, according to Patanjali, if you are able to center awareness in some objects internally or externally that your breathing stops, that is 4th stage of Prana. It can lead to prana settling into your system. You will experience the state of breathing without thinking. This is the most powerful stage of Pranayama. In this stage, you will be able to create anything you want because everything is made out of Prana. All material is created out of Prana.
These 10 truths are not meant to be exhaustive because I know there are many deeper layers of mystery of life which will unfold to me when the right time comes. I like to give my deep gratitude to Existence and all the teachers who had shared this sacred knowledge with me, which helps to open up many experiences in me. Thank you.