Breath practice: How to get it going.
A regular breath practice? In the last year of us at Samahita doing weekly videos and sending many updates around it has it started, changed, grown for you? One might quip with a well-used line of just do it. Perhaps part of it but actually it’s not enough. You may just do it, and then not do it. Its value is then negated. So this is an extremely valuable and important point, relating to all aspects of yoga and meditative practice: though short term effects may be felt, they will also dissipate – the real value, the enduring effect, the actual benefit only comes from building a regularity, commitment, sincerity of “just doing it”. Or as I like to say just do it, but with awareness, with connection, like you mean it. Perhaps our advice at the beginning is “try a bit, fit in a few days, get used to it.” At the beginning. But how long does the beginning go on for? Years? Oh no. Though it can. Really the hump is weeks, maybe months.
Set up a spot. At night when you’re doing your own thing at home. Set it up so you like sitting there, being in it. Keep it set up. So the next morning you look forward to going in to and sitting in this place that gives you respite, calm, personal private space. Then follow a constructive breath practice. Like in the video below or a few others we have shared online. When finished with the breath enjoy sitting “in” the after effect, the meditative residue. Though you may say to yourself five minutes, fifteen will go by and you’ll realize you enjoy it. It is cumulative in effect when done regularly. Without that it is hope, guilt, hot air talk. And it doesn’t require immense discipline, or intense effort, just the right set up, one that is welcoming and pleasant. Then you’re set.
Though many may see the logic or wisdom in this approach either a lack of conviction or not feeling its need or urgency usually overrides any momentary motivation and willingness. But let me write how I often respond in person: it’s all all right till it’s not. And then what? Nature follows a process, our body, mind, heart all need the right care and attention. Your internal, however you may call it, spirit, essence and so on, needs some time with you the body, mind, functioning through the heart. That’s all this is though it nourishes nature’s process that flows through you as a body with metabolic processes and a complicated mind. Take care as it’s easy for things, if not nicely looked at, to go awry.
So, here’s the take home, set up your space, start tomorrow morning, keep it up. Let it blossom. All things grow and give when attention is placed there. More love will spread. Wishing this for you.
Dr. Paul Dallaghan’s expertise with breathwork, body and meditative practices comes from three sources: (1) three decades of daily dedicated practice and teaching these techniques; (2) uniquely acknowledged in the Yoga tradition by the title of “Master Yogi-Prānācharya (expert in breath)”, following an immersion in the original culture through one-on-one direct training in practice and study of ancient texts; (3) a PhD in doctoral scientific research at a leading US university (Emory) covering both the tradition and science of yoga and breath practices in terms of stress, health and aging. As a result, Paul occupies a unique space to impart genuine teaching and science on the breath, body, and meditative practices, seen as a Teacher-of-teachers and identified to carry on the tradition of Pranayama. His sincere and ongoing role is to teach, write and research, to help put out experienced and authentic information on these areas of how we live, breathe and be, to help people improve their mental and physical health, and live more fulfilling lives.
For more on his background see his bio