As more and more of us are opening up to the subtle aspects of energy work it is a good idea have a solid understanding of how we can construct a stable foundation. “Energy work” is a wide term to say the least as it includes so many different areas where, often newly found and subtle energies, play a big role in one’s life. It is easy to feel lost, confused, and even overwhelmed at times because of this new influx. Luckily for us we can always take a look at people around us and see what positive things they are doing and learn. We can also look at what others are doing that is not serving them, and not do that. Everyone is our teacher if we allow them to be.
Under the large umbrella of energy work we need to look at if there is anything similar or identical in all the different areas. If there is something that is shared and is essential for all of these areas then we have something that certainly will be part of the fundamentals. This might seem like a daunting task to figure out at first, but it is really quite simple and many things do stand out and fit this bill. In this article we have chosen one in particular, but there are of course many ways to start a discussion about energy work. Breath work is one of our favorites.
Breathing is something that we share. The way we breathe is directly connected to our energy levels and poor breathing patterns can more or less ruin our ability to store, generate, and release energy. If we however are breathing consciously, properly, and harmoniously the breath becomes a magical tool that can open up new worlds for us. The average person takes 16 breaths per minute which amounts to about 23,000 breaths per day. That is a big number. If each breath can have a positive or negative effect then we can see that we might not be paying as much attention to how we breathe as we need to.
The breath has been said to be so special not only because it brings oxygen into the body but because it is both a conscious and unconscious action. If we don’t pay attention to our breath it goes on by itself but we can also, like in meditation, pay an extraordinary amount of awareness and attention to it opening up our inner world. But breathing is not just something that happens in the background or in meditative practice. We need to take care of our overall breathing patterns in and throughout the day for us to make sure we are taking care of our energies, this really can’t be stated enough.
“Can you bring what you practice to the marketplace?”
Now let’s look at our beloved fellow men and women as an example what proper and improper breathing looks like. It is important when we do this that it is done without judgment, better it be done heartfelt <3
When we do this observation it will become apparent that if we are not paying attention to our breathing, a primary bodily function located at the center of our being, then we are busy doing something else. In this case when we look at others around us we can see that it most often means to be in caught up our heads, thinking. Even seasoned meditators lose their practice once they stand up from the lotus position exit the sangha and walk to the marketplace. It is so common in fact that one can argue that the norm today is that people’s minds run their lives. It is not hard to imagine with ones inner eye how the non-physical mind that is dragging or pushing the body around town. Though we can’t really physically see that.
This analogy is a good one because we can also relate to how we feel inside when we are running around stressed, un-grounded, and spaced out. We can get a dual perspective on this dilemma by external observation and inner feeling based confirmation. Then we can see how mindful breathing is connected to the chain of Awareness – Concentration – Sensation. Someone else might like to use different terms like; Attention – Focus – Tactility to describe the same connection. It doesn’t really matter as long as you can see more or less how it fits together within you and inside others. What does matter is that we can see and feel the significance of this.
The mind and how active it is directly connects to how we breathe, when we are to lost thought we lose this precious connection. If the mind is active, or even worse overactive, then many bodily functions will begin to operate at a decreased level of efficiency and quality. Anyone who has performed in sports, any art form, or any creative endeavor knows what it is like to not being able to perform at one’s best. When this happens we can always put our attention back to out breathing and calming/quieting the mind with an improvement in our ability to perform. Performance anxiety and writers block are are examples of overthinking, though it can also have an emotional connection.
If you do an online search on something like “study of mind and negative thoughts”, you will see that it is quickly becoming evident that up yo as much as 90%, some studies claim even more, are negative, repetitive, and limiting. It is of practical use to know that it is stems mainly from the PFC (right prefrontal cortex) just above your eyeball. If this is even remotely the case then this fact brings the whole situation in a completely different light. This then indicates that if we are too caught up in ourselves, self absorbed in thought if you will, this will have detrimental effects on our overall performance capacity and energy levels.
An analogy of what is taking place would be that you are hanging out with someone that is intensely negative and non-constructive and is “always” taking the worst perspective or outlook. But it’s not someone else, it’s going on inside our own heads. The symptoms of this interference, when the links of the connection to our breathing is constantly interrupted, is the lack what we all need and cherish. Motivation, creativity, and our connection to Spirit as well as well-being and our ability to experience joy all begin to disappear. If you are lacking or would like to experience more of that well-spring of goodness, and aren’t paying much attention to your breathing, then you now know where to start.
“It’s all good!”
When it comes to energy work the terms descension and ascension often come up. Meaning to fall from a higher vibration to a lower one, or to rise and soar from a low vibration to a higher one. No matter where one finds oneself on their path at this point in time it is good to remember that if we are not happy with where we are at then we can always put effort to change our act. To start doing what is good for us, and stop doing all the nonsense. There is no point to brush anything negative under the carpet or stick our head in the sand and it is important to realize that small changes to fundamentals can bring massive positive change to our life experience.
If we find that we are often stuck within a lower vibration of negative moods, bad attitudes, or preoccupations we have found a diamond in the rough. Something that if we start to care for and nurture correctly can change our lives for the better, often bringing with it a snowball effect of positivity into other areas of our lives. But we have to start somewhere and the breath is always a good place to start. Breath work has so much depth to it that it is highly unlikely that we will explore it to Its full extent. It has been said that breath work is like an enigma wrapped in a mystery, it only keeps on unfolding.
Though this article is mainly theoretical we also would like to add in some practical advice and examples when it comes to breathing and suggesting some areas that, if you are not familiar with, can open up a new field of exploration for you.
When it comes to breathing and breathing patterns the first thing to remember is to make it a priority in your life. Setting that intention is the catalyst or the spark-plug to ignite this process for you. After that then begin breathing harmoniously and with your attention paid to the sensation of inhaling and exhaling as you can remember, this is great. Once breathing becomes our primary point of focus, any negative traits or burdens will begin to decrease and eventually even fall off completely. Because we are no longer primarily entertaining the underlying disturbance in the form of thought streams and emotional patterns. Who will you become then?
“It’s for everyone and anyone!”
No matter if you are running 100m hard, walking the dog, reading a book, on a date, or driving it is all the same. Breathing is best done slowly, harmoniously, and best of all…… so silently that you can neither hear or feel it. Then you are on point! In modern society we tend to take shallow breaths to the top of the lungs. So it is a good adjustment for the vast majority to breath down into the belly and stomach area so one can feel the expansion there first.
It will also become more and more apparent when, how, and why you lose your mindful breathing. Take note of what kind of situations and people that throw you off your breathing game. Next time you can put some more conscious attention to anchor your awareness to the flow of your breath.
This will begin to activate your senses in a different way, it will keep you present, and you also become much more alert with the added benefit of increased awareness. Both awareness of how your fellow brothers and sisters are doing and what they are up to in the moment as well as your own self-awareness and ability to notice what is going on inside also goes up. Once the mind begins to calm down we don’t have such a negative take on what is going on, we begin to judge less. This instead opens up the doors of practicality to what can be done to bring peace and harmony to the situation if it’s needed. It goes hand in hand.
Through this simple practice you can begin to familiarize yourself with for example the chakra system, not only through theoretical understanding of it, but via sensation and direct feeling based contact.
The “Dantiens” or “Tantiens” the three power centers connected to the QI, or life force, of the body as explained in TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) can also begin to be felt and available for use. The quality of your sleeping patterns benefit from having generally better breathing patterns and a calmer mind throughout the day. Mood and attitudes can be regulated or cushioned by the deliberate act of focusing on the breath instead on the thought storm or emotional torrent.
In any form of movement practice, whether it be yoga, sports, or strength exercise your breathing will be key. It allows for you to connect with your body so you can align properly with your movement patterns, which comes more naturally if your mind is clear and empty. This automatically improves your posture even if you are not consciously aware of that you are doing it. The body knows how to move and the mind is allowed to stand aside to the tune of a silent breath. Even if this is hard to do in the beginning it is a great practice which also helps tremendously with recovery.
We hope that this article fueled some fire inside of you to get started with your own breath work. The information is out there readily available for anyone that wants to do the research. It might sound strange to pay so much attention to breathing and not thinking. Some questions might arise. For example:
-Will I get anything done with an empty mind?
Yes you will! And it will be the things that you actually need to do.
-Won’t it it make me become an airhead without purpose?
On the contrary, you will be way more efficient! More mindfully connected to your higher self.
-Isn’t it boring? It sounds boring….
Not at all, everything comes alive in a new way. And your sense of humor will improve too, guaranteed!
What we are trying to do when doing energy work is to go from concrete to gentle. From obvious to subtle. From materialistic to energetic.
“Live inside your breath, be all you can be, be free.”
Thank you very much for reading!
If you have any questions or are interested in treatments or consultations don’t hesitate to send as an email with what is going on with you!
Heart Work Pays Off!
//Sara, Simba & Friends