Learning to control my breathing and learning to breathe deeply added to my ability to be a Super-Ager. I am convinced that deep breathing into the dantian* brings physical, emotional and spiritual healing to the body. When I first began doing yoga and meditating, pranayama was what was taught. And certainly through those practices and the Arica training mentioned earlier I learned to breathe with the full use of the lungs not just the middle of the lungs. These days because my breaths are well established I no longer do the pranayama breaths.
From 50 years of experience I fuse three systems for doing The Breaths of the 5 Elements. I use:
1. The 5 Elements Breaths from Polarity Yoga plus
2. My training from Inner Light Consciousness and yoga with the rainbow colors for the 7 chakras with
3. A fusion of concentration from Sufism’s 5 Element Breaths.
For each of the next 5 days, I will present one elemental breath a day. Today the subject is the earth breath.
Here are the directions ala Ruthann for the earth breath associated with the 1st chakra:
Inhale and exhale 5 times at your slow pace through the nose with the concentration of security and stability and the color red for the first chakra.
I find great power in these breaths and ease at entering meditation with them. Here is how I take advantage of the power of the breaths:
I do the full series of the 5 breaths in order: earth, water, fire, air and ether before meditating. By the time I finish the fire breaths I am in an altered state of consciousness, my speech is slowed. I surmise that I am experiencing mid-level alpha wares at that time. By the time I finish the ether breaths it is difficult to speak, I am probably registering at very low alpha waves or possibly high theta waves. So, the breaths escort me into meditation, I don’t have to “try” to meditate.
In this practice each of the breaths of the elements is repeated 5 times at each individual’s pace.
As stated earlier, for the next 5 days I will explore one breath of The 5 Elements in the traditional order:
*Following is a reference for your “center” or core: https://taichionlineclasses.com/finding-your-center/
“From: Finding your center: As we continue learning about “Central Equilibrium” (Zhong Ding the first of 13 Basic “Jin’s” we learn in Tai Chi Chuan), we discover how to locate the body’s center line. In approximately the middle of this line is the physical center of gravity, called the lower Dantian, “sea of qi” or the “elixir field.” This is where you focus your intention. The true lower dantian is located about two to three finger widths under the belly button, and half way between the front and back of your body. This is your center. To move the body in any direction while practicing the form, you must move the center first. Every movement in Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan 108 Form originates from this center.”
Following is a reference to pranayama:
Because the Sufis use different colors and differently placed chakras than the traditional yogic references I studied earlier, I decided not to elaborate on their system. Here is a reference for the Sufi Version: http://sufihealingorder.info/international-training-course/homework-seminar-1/five-element-breath/