1 Great Reason To Breathe – Prana

Breathing For Breast Cancer Pose

By Diana Ross, E-RYT500, Certified Yoga Therapist & Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

So what is PRANA and why is it so dang important?
I know I keep harping on the importance of breathing mindfully and giving it great respect for its powers. After all, it is what sustains us. Without it, there is no us.  Period.  It literally can change the course of your actions, feelings and outcomes.  It will make you calm. It will allow for better decisions because it creates clarity of mind, and it goes to work deep within our physical form creating balance.  But let’s try to understand why.

Here is a little background information about why the breath is so important to our quality of life.Yoga breathing is called – Pranayama – the “Knowledge of Life Energy.” Breathing  offers life; without we would cease to exist. Breathing is that important. What is prana?  Prana (प्राण, prāṇa) is the Sanskrit word for “life force”; in yoga.  Prana – Pra  means continuous and na  means movement. Prana in the form of energy exists everywhere, both in and outside the body. It weakens in the body by wrong action, and increases by right action.  Examples are in the quality of air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat, and even the company we keep.

Our Thoughts are the finest and highest actions of Prana. What we may call instinct or unconscious thought is the lowest plane of action. If a bug stings us, we respond with our hand instinctively striking it. This is one expression of thought. All spontaneous reflex actions of the body belong to this plane of thought, the unconscious. The conscious thought is – I reason, I judge, I think, I see the pros and cons of certain things. However, this is not all. Believe it but the mind can exist on a still higher plane, the superconscious. When the mind has reached this state, it is called Samâdhi — perfect concentration, superconsciousness — it goes beyond the limits of reason, and comes face to face with facts which no instinct or reason can ever know. Hum – I wonder if this may take a lot of practice, and wisdom.

The most obvious appearance of Prana in the human body is demonstrated in the motion of our lungs. If that stops, within minutes all the other manifestations of force in the body will also immediately stop.  Pranayama really means controlling this motion of the lungs and this motion is associated with the breath. Not that the breath is producing prana; on the contrary – prana is producing the breath. This motion draws in the air by pump action. The Prana is moving the lungs, the movement of the lungs draws in the air. Consequently,  Pranayama is not breathing, but controlling that muscular power which moves the lungs. This dynamic muscular power which goes out through the nerves to the muscles and  then to the lungs, making them move and expand is the Prana. This is what we have to control in the practice of Pranayama.  When the Prana has become controlled, then we immediately find that all the other actions of the Prana in the body will slowly come under control too.  Starting with the thought waves of the mind. I will go as far and say that when we draw the breath in deeply we defuse the stress hormones, like cortisol which is produced by the adrenal gland and is released in response to stress and encourage the GABA levels to rise thus the outcome of inner calm. GABA is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. It plays a role in regulating neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.

To sum this up:

  • The more enthusiastic or engage in life, the more prana is put into play and when less enthusiastic energy you feel lack of interest or wanting change.
  • Prana manifests itself as mental power, and can only be controlled by mental means. Again if you can control the breath the mind will also come under control.
  • Prana is intermixed with the air we breathe in. Oxygen is the carrier of this pranic energy, and negative prana is no air.
  • When we bring the breath under control (meaning we focus on the inhales and exhales) our mind will not wander. It is then the mind is brought under control. If the mind wanders so does the breath.

I highly recommend sitting in a quiet place and learning how to enjoy breathing deeply.
You will feel a shift in attitude quite soon.

Breathe on my friends.

Breath Importance

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

Understanding Breathing For Fatigue, Sleeplessness And Pain

Breathing For Breast Cancer“By improving the quality of your breath, you can improve the quality of your life.”

Diana Ross, ERYT, CYT Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga

I want to share the Benefits to Breathing correctly, and I want to introduce Prana and it’s relationship with good health.

Who has experienced a restless mind? Do you have difficulty standing still? Or do you frequently feel fatigued? Who has trouble sleeping? Who has shortness of breath? If you answered yes to any or all of the above you can understand how the breath and our relationship with life energy works so as to change these destructive patterns.

But first we need to acknowledge these things and then change them. To quote my dear Oprah “When we know better, we do better.” All these things I mentioned can go back to the way we breathe. Exaggerated chest movements, tense abdominal muscles that may restrict our breath or breathing through the mouth instead of the nostrils. These examples illustrate stress and unhealthy breathing habits.  When poor breathing habits persist outside our conscious awareness, they can magnify perception of pain, distort emotions, feed into cycles of stress and impair concentration and memory.  It is here where yoga places such emphasis on learning how to breathe correctly, consciously and deeply. The answer is quite simple “By improving the quality of your breath, you can improve the quality of your life.

When you learn how to breath deliberately, and with awareness you can foster a quiet mind, you can become energized, and you can become balanced. When you control your breathe you can transform any irregular, jerky or rapid breathing and convert it into a rhythmical, smooth and gentle breath. Let me ask this “Who spends anytime breathing consciously”? Let’s develop the connection and flow of the breath from one into the next, finding an exquisite rhythmical pace.

In yoga breathing is called – Pranayama – the “Knowledge of Life Energy.” Breathing clearly offers life; without it we cease to exist. Breathing is important. Let’s explain what prana is.  Prana – Pra – means continuous and na – means movement.   Prana in the form of energy exists every in the body and outside the body. It weakens in the body by wrong action, and increases by right action. Examples are in the air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat, even the company we keep.

Thought is the finest and highest action of Prana. What we call instinct or unconscious thought, is the lowest plane of action. If a mosquito stings us, our hand will strike it automatically, instinctively. This is one expression of thought. All reflex actions of the body belong to this plane of thought, the unconscious.

The conscious thought is – I reason, I judge, I think, I see the pros and cons of certain things, yet that is not all. The mind can exist on a still higher plane, the superconscious. When the mind has attained this state, which is called Samâdhi — perfect concentration, superconsciousness — it goes beyond the limits of reason, and comes face to face with facts which no instinct or reason can ever know.

The most obvious manifestation of this Prana in the human body is the motion of the lungs. If that stops, as a rule all the other manifestations of force in the body will immediately stop.  Pranayama really means controlling this motion of the lungs and this motion is associated with the breath. Not that the breath is producing prana; on the contrary prana is producing breath. This motion draws in the air by pump action. The Prana is moving the lungs, the movement of the lungs draws in the air.  So Pranayama is not breathing, but controlling that muscular power which moves the lungs. That muscular power which goes out through the nerves to the muscles and from them to the lungs, making them move in a certain manner, is the Prana, which we have to control in the practice of Pranayama.  When the Prana has become controlled, then we shall immediately find that all the other actions of the Prana in the body will slowly come under control too.  Starting with the thought waves of the mind. I will go as far and say that when we draw the breath in deeply we defuse the stress hormones, like cortisol which is produced by the adrenal gland and is released in response to stress and encourage the GABA levels to rise thus the outcome of inner calm. GABA is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. It plays a role in regulating neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system.

To sum this up:

  • The more enthusiastic or engage in life, the more prana is put into play and when less enthusiastic energy you feel lack of interest or wanting change.
  • Prana manifests itself as mental power, and can only be controlled by mental means. Again if you can control the breath the mind will also come under control.
  • Prana is intermixed with the air we breathe in. Oxygen is the carrier of this pranic energy, and negative prana is no air.
  • When we bring the breath under control (meaning we focus on the inhales and exhales) our mind will not wander. It is then the mind is brought under control. If the mind wanders so does the breath.

I highly recommend sitting in a quiet place and learning how to enjoy breathing deeply.

You will feel a shift in attitude quite soon.

Breathe on my friends.

Breathe With Purpose CD

Breathe With Purpose CD

Diana Ross ContibutorDiana Ross, E-RYT 500 founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana is a restorative yoga teacher; and a survivor that cares about making a difference in your recovery process. Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products were designed to support you emotionally and physically from breast cancer surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments. We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

 

Why is Our Breath so Important in Recovery?

"Sun Moon Breath" With Rochelle Donnino

“Sun Moon Breath” With Rochelle Donnino

“Close your eyes and gradually bring your breath into your mind’s awareness. Experience each inhalation as it draws fresh energy in; feel the exhalation emptying you, carrying away fatigue, stress and unnecessary thoughts. Let your breaths flow softly, and smoothly from one into the next without hurrying or pressing between breaths. Now breath in, and breath out.” Diana Ross

We hear from time to time this familiar saying ”take a deep breath” when we become stressed, anxious or over excited. Ever wonder why? There are so many reasons as to why. Taking a full, deep conscious breath has been known to settle us down when we are nervous or upset.

How we create this internal calm is to tune into your breath, consciously. The immediate result of tuning into your breath is the ability in obtaining control of your emotional state of mind. The positive potential results in facilitating recovery from surgery, and beyond is the ability to calm your nerves, and invite relaxation. The immune system benefits as well to proper breathing cycles. By conscious breathing we bring the mind/body/spirit state into balance and the nervous system runs with maximum efficiency. Balancing the breath serves to maintain and equalize the complete breath cycle. The goal of the inhalation and exhalation is to be identical in volume and duration thus creating the natural flow of the breath. This natural flow brings the quiet mind with it. Concentration will be higher during this equalized state and invite a meditative mind. A meditative mind cannot happen until the breath is brought under control. You see now how vitally important the breath is in wellness and how it heals.

Habitually we resort to unconscious shallow breathing and clearly do not utilize our true lung capacity creating uneven inhalations and exhalations. In the beginning if the airflow is unequal, do not be concerned. It is a natural phenomenon, and you need not resort to any other method; just continue to practice breathing with awareness. Therefore an equalized airflow through both nostrils should be strived for. Also in the beginning the effects of the breathing practice may not be felt right away, but after a few sessions the results will show itself. It is only through practice that we begin to master so don’t get discouraged. In practicing breathing techniques (pranayama) the mind will become still, and the breath will become even. The energy we normally spend engaging and processing the world around us begins to bend inward and we see it with more clarity.

The importance of training the breath becomes a powerful tool in managing stress, fear, and anxiety. It assists in restoring energy and calming the mind, so we need to breath with greater awareness. The breath is an amazing vehicle in that it is always present, and effective at every level of self inquiry and acts both as preventative as well as restorative. Once we bring an awareness of the breath into the moment, where it is most needed, we can then improve our quality of life. We can enjoy quiet moments of meditation: we can enjoy our be-ing.

Breast Cancer Yoga has a two breathing CD series “Breathe With Purpose, and Breathe for Health and Wellness.” It has breaths that are easy to learn. You are guided the entire time, breath by breath.

Diana Ross, E-RYT500, CYT, Certified KaliRay TriYoga, Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga

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