What is Prana? It is more than the air we breathe. Prana is the universal principle of energy or force. It is the sum total of all energy manifest in the universe, all forces in nature, and the powers which are hidden in all beings and lie everywhere around us. There are 3 main ways to harness this invisible force.
- The air we breathe
- The food we eat
The word 'pranayama' translates as the science of breath. It is the most powerful way to harness your innate life force. You can look after this part of your system and keep it fit by being aware of your breathing. Take time to observe your breath as you walk, as you sit, while at work and upon awakening. Practice breathing deeply. It is known that by consciously breathing with depth, you can maintain a calm mind and balanced emotions.
Sama Vritti: the square breath
This technique is incredibly powerful, and so simple to use. Choose an equal ratio of breathing that is comfortable for you. I tend to use a count of 2:2:2:2. I have fond memories of working with this breath when I was a school teacher working with young children. It was one of the best ways I found to induce calm in the classroom as the children mentally created a square whilst watching their breath. One young child used to imagine he was watching himself running around the square in his running shoes. He was one of the ‘more dynamic’ boys in the class, shall I say, and it worked every time, without fail, to create a calm and relaxed state! Thankfully!!
Whenever you feel a little overwhelmed, tired or un-focused, sit for a moment using this equal ratio breathing and simply watch your breath. Just breathe in for a slow count of 2, hold for the same count, breathe out for 2 and finally pause again at the end of the out breath. The balance of the ratio will calm and relax your mind and body. You can continue this breath for several minutes, and when you're ready, simply open your eyes or gently move your body to come out of the awareness of the breath and breathe normally.
Enjoy looking after your pranamaya kosha!