Breath practice: How to get it going.

The Samahita Blog

Breath practice: How to get it going.

By Paul Dallaghan

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.

Paul Dallaghan’s expertise with breathwork, body and meditative practices comes from three sources: over 25 years of daily dedicated practice and teaching these techniques; immersion in the original culture through one-on-one direct training in practice and study of ancient texts; doctoral scientific research at a leading US university (Emory) on yoga and breath in terms of stress, health and aging. Paul occupies a unique space to impart genuine teaching and science on these practices, acknowledged by his teacher and lineage (Kuvalayananda) in India as a Teacher-of-teachers and a Master of Breath, identified to carry the tradition (Pranayama). This places him as the only master-level yoga and breath practitioner currently immersed in scientific academic research on breathwork, stress and health. His sincere and ongoing role is to teach, write and research to help put out experienced and authentic information on these areas in a world full of confusion and conflicting messages both off and online.

For more on his background see his bio.

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