Value your breath . . . . This is the first rule of Kundalini Yoga.
Why? Yogi Bhajan has said, “If there is anything Divine in you, it is your breath.” Breath is the precious thread that links each of us, finite creatures, to the Infinite. Each breath is a precious gift.
When you think about it, breath is quite amazing. From the moment you were born,
something has been breathing in you. This happens whether you are awake or sleeping,
happy or unhappy, even conscious or unconscious. The breath is on duty 24-7 with
no time off for holidays or vacations. Could it really be you doing all that breathing?
In the Orient, it is said that the life span of a child has already been predetermined, not by a number of years, but by the number of breaths allotted.
With this is mind, you can easily conclude that if you breathe slower, you will live longer.
A slower rate of breathing is much easier on the nervous system, the metabolism, and the digestion. Slow breathing can also help us live healthier.
The breath is intimately connected to our emotional and mental states. When you are upset, the breath tends to be quick and shallow. When you are content and confident, the breath tends to be much slower and deeper. Just as the breath varies with our different states of mind, we can learn to use the breath to gain control of our mind and our emotions. When you are upset, try forcing yourself to breath slowly and deeply. The mind will naturally follow the breath and begin to calm.
As the mind calms, the body will naturally follow the mind and begin to relax.
Remember these basic principles:
1. Your rate of breathing and your state of
mind are inseparable.
2. The slower your rate of breathing, the
more control you have over your mind.
3. The mind follows the breath, and the
body follows the mind.
For more information on the breath, I recommend
Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power by
Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa. It’s a great book!