The conscious breath – by Carla Wainwright, E-RYT500, SOYA
Did you know that the breath is the only function of the body that can be done both consciously and unconsciously? When we bring awareness to our breathing, we are really practicing taking something unconscious, or automatic, and making it conscious. This is a powerful practice whose benefits extend far beyond simple breathing. When we become more and more conscious of our breath we amplify the movement of prana within ourselves, life force energy contained within the breath. Each breath has the ability to create sacred space within ourselves. It can harness our innate capacity to increase our awareness of our senses and the capacity to be present in each and every moment.
This then can translate into the things that we do in our lives automatically, those habits, patterns and thoughts, so we can actually learn to slow down a little bit and make these things conscious. Imagine if our words, our actions and our thoughts were all conscious.
Our yoga practice is a powerful way to create the space for this transformation from unconscious to conscious. When we are on the mat and we make more room for breath, more room for prana, more awareness, then we can use what we learn in the physical practice and turn it into something that influences the rest of our life. Conscious breath, conscious life.
So where do we start? Always one breath at a time. So right now, pause. Close your eyes. Relax. Breathe in and sigh out. Then take a few conscious breaths – breathe slowly and fill the body. Take your time and notice what you feel. And then consider your next action – whether it contains words or actions and see what happens. The more we can connect our breath into our lives, the greater our capacity to fully awaken into ourselves.
Carla Wainwright is a lead trainer for SOYA at the 200 hour teacher training in Mexico and the 300 hour upgrade to RYT500. She will be leading a yoga retreat in Mexico in February, and in Italy this May. For more information visit www.carlawainwright.com