Monday, April 7, 2008

Ahhh. Breathing. And Shamanic Journeying.

Our most recent class was a cool one. We learned more about breathing. And it was such a relaxing class. We learned about pranayama, which is an Indian style of breathwork. We specifically learned a form called Nadi Sodhana which is alternate nostril breathing. Here is an excerpt from a site that explains:

With this exercise, we breathe through only one nostril at a time. The logic behind this exercise is that normal breathing does alternate from one nostril to the other at various times during the day. In a healthy person the breath will alternate between nostrils about every two hours. Because most of us are not in optimum health, this time period varies considerably between people and further reduces our vitality. According to the yogis, when the breath continues to flow in one nostril for more than two hours, as it does with most of us, it will have an adverse effect on our health. If the right nostril is involved, the result is mental and nervous disturbance. If the left nostril is involved, the result is chronic fatigue and reduced brain function. The longer the flow of breath in one nostril, the more serious the illness will be.

So here is how you do this breathing. You take your first and second finger and place them together on your third eye (middle of forehead between brows and slightly above). Then you will use your thumb and ring finger to alternately hold either your left or right nostril closed while you breathe through the other nostril.

Keep your fingers on your third eye. Close your eyes. Relax. Hold your left nostril closed with your ring finger and breathe in through your right. Visualize you are breathing in a healing pink or gold light up to your third eye. Hold the breath there and see it swirling and cleaning your third eye and entire head and sinuses as you then cover your right nostril with your thumb and open the left and exhale the light out. Now, breathe in from your left, holding closed your right. Repeat. See the cleansing and healing. Feel it.

Here is link, but it does not show the third eye method. However, this is pretty good for an explanation and for scientific evidence on how it works!

Steve also talked to use about a number of other breathing techniques I won't go into here. Suffice it to say, breathing is LIFE. And more often than we know, we hold our breath when we are stressed out or for many other reasons. We may not even realize we are doing it. But pay attention and you will find times when you aren't breathing consistently. I know I do. I was just doing it oddly enough!!

We also took our first Shamanic Journey in this class. We journeyed to the lower world to meet our power animals. My trip, as usual was a bit hard at first, but I believe I met my power animal and it was Crow. I found myself being pecked by it, so I think it was trying to get my attention. I also saw myself flying over a forest. It's pretty cool that Crow came to me because it represents EXACTLY where I am right now and what I am working on. You can read here about Crow.

For those of you who do not know about Shamanic journeying, BUY STEVE'S BOOK listed on our site. It is an amazing thing to journey. You learn so much about yourself and what gifts can be brought to bear in your physical life.

And if you ever get a chance to take some Shamanic journeying classes, I recommend it highly. We are after all here to enjoy the journey. Right? Why not learn how to actually do just that?