In addition to supplying oxygen during the process of respiration, the breath simultaneously draws in another energetic quality, known as prana. This prana, or qi, as it is called in China, is the vital life force energy that sustains and animates all of life, vitalizes the mind and is the energy of consciousness itself. Eastern adepts have long been aware that the breath is our connection to prana. From the ancient traditions of yoga and Buddhist meditation to the practices of qi gong and tai chi, the breath is considered a powerful medium for rejuvenating the body, mind, and spirit.
Breath and Energy Flow
With each breath, the body takes in and absorbs prana, constantly activating and stimulating the energy flows that comprise the human energy system, the bridge between the mind and body. Acknowledging that the breath is a vehicle for prana, one begins to understand how specific qualities of the breath, such as speed, depth, and rhythm, all have a critical effect on energy flow. Poor breathing habits can result in the inhibition, or blocking, of this vital flow, creating energetic disturbances that adversely affect the balance of the mind/body continuum.
Free the Breath, Free Energy Flow
In unraveling tensions in the breath, we also dismantle their corresponding energetic disturbances, opening up energy flow. Attending to energy flow and allowing it to move more freely can have transformative effects on consciousness as well as physical health and well-being. A free, undisturbed flow of prana promotes a harmonious balance between the mind and body. This balance is not only essential in attaining optimal wellness but also is the vital key to acquiring profound states of inner stillness and deeper meditative experiences.