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Know your own breath

Posture Sit in Easy Pose, cross legged on the floor or with your feet flat on the floor. Ensure your spine is straight, with a light jalandhar bandh (chin towards to chest).

Eye Focus Eyes are closed, pressed gently up, focusing at the Brow Point.

Mudra Let your hands rest on your knees in Gyan Mudra (thumb and index finger touching on each hand) or put your palms together in Prayer Pose at the center of the chest.

Pranayama/Breathwork  Let your body feel comfortable and in perfect balance in this posture without effort. Bring your focus to your breath. Feel the breath and its movement. How does it move in the different parts of your body as you breathe in a steady and meditative rhythm? What tendencies and elements (fire, earth, wind, water and ether) seem to dominate the quality of your breath as you begin the exercise? How does that change as you continue to meditate? Bring your attention through to your brow point above your nose where the eyebrows meet. Now move your focus through your brow to the Navel Point area. Concentrate just below your belly button on the inside. Feel the motion and energy of the breath. Imagine light flooding your body. As you inhale, allow the light to deepen and expand beyond your body. Let that breath and light merge with the entire Universe. Let the breath breathe you. Experience yourself as a unit and the Cosmos as unlimited. Feel that you are a part of that vastness. The breath is a wave on a much greater ocean of energy of which you are a part. Notice the motions and changes in the subtle breath, your prana, your life force. Do not try to alter it. Observe it and learn to notice what your base prana is. You are sensitizing your awareness to notice the state of energy and motion in your prana. You must regulate to this baseline to notice, understand and appreciate the effect of various pranayam meditation techniques.

Comments The nature of your thoughts and emotions is reflected in the motion and level of energy in your breath. One of the first habits of a yogi is become familiar with the state of their breath and prana. A disturbance in the subtle prana augurs what will happen in the body and emotions. Knowing your normal state means you can become aware of changes that are healthy and unhealthy as you choose to change certain habits and meditations to shape the inner change you seek. Your prana can help you short-circuit the cycle of creation, avoid ill-health and bad decisions. It also opens your intuition so you can tune into the people you encounter and places occupy. Yogi Bhajan had his students meditate on the breath at their navel point (the starting point becoming aware of your prana) for many hours. He would often add the mantra Sat Nam (I am truth. Truth I am) to the flow of the breath. Practice in silence and assess your energy. Establish your zero point internally, then you can notice the impact of the various breath combinations.

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