There is an expression from Bihar School of Yoga:-
Beyond the physical body exists energy, beyond energy exists the mind, beyond the mind exists consciousness, beyond consciousness exists Superconsciousness.
Even the Bible implies that man was given consciousness and life through the breath: “The Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathing into his nostrils the breath of life, he became a living soul.” (Gen 2:10). This is a symbolic expression of the process of materialisation of matter and life together through prana and consciousness.
Modern scientists are discovering that there is an energy link between the physical and psychic bodies. They have arrived at the conclusion that energy or pranic force is convertible into material force and the material force is convertible into pranic force. So Science has come to the conclusion that every existing thing is a composite structure of energy and matter.
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I remembered an incident that happened in one of my yoga classes in 2002. It was during the deep relaxation phase, I guided a group of students to visualize breathing all the way down to the toes with awareness. After the class, one middle-aged lady, who was a teacher, came to ask me “How can we breathe to the toes when we only breathe through the lungs?”
This incident taught me the importance of giving a deeper understanding about the breath beyond the physiological process to a layman. To the laymen who are wired by logics and intellectual scientific facts, they are only able to accept facts relating to the matter world. In the field of energy, the modern science still has a long way to catch up with spirituality. The good news is they are moving towards the right direction. We can see a growing interest in research about energy and the popularity of alternative therapy such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Acupuncture, Ayurveda and different forms of energy healing in recent couple of decades. One thing these practices have in common is their fundamental core understanding in seeing the human body as holistic bio-energy not just as matter of different systems.
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Do you know that breathing is the only physiological function which is both voluntary and involuntary?
This means that breathing can be controlled consciously by the mind or it can be allowed to function automatically like other physiological processes like digestion under the control of the body’s central nervous system. Breathing is therefore an important bridge between the mind and the body and can influence them both.
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