Namaste

Refreshing Breathwalk

  1. Observe your walking - 5 minutes
  2. Observe your breathing - 5 minutes
  3. Count steps or seconds for inbreath and outbreath - 5 minutes
  4. Lengthen outbreath and/or shorten inbreath - 5 minutes
  5. Focus on the part that is most important to you - 10 minutes

Option to stand or walk at any time.
If inside, detour up and down the stairs at any time the stairway is empty.
Maintain meditative silence unless you have questions. Let extraneous thoughts pass.

Benefits of a longer exhale

Cleansing, gets rid of more stale air, toxins, carbon dioxide and creates a vacuum.
Building capacity, like squeezing a sponge, prepares, increases lung area, and ability.
Increases distribution of the benefits of the inbreath to all parts of your body.
Less effort required for inhale, air rushes in, more air means more oxygen.

Difficulties of a longer exhale

For me, inbreath may become rushed, gasping. Daily practice gradually improves quick breathing with more volume, with less stress.
I find that learning to incorporate voluntary movement of the diaphragm and abdominal muscles in outbreathing seems counter-intuitive.
I need to overcome lifelong programming of the common, "Take a deep breath" and replace that with "Breath out completely".

Goal

We are trying to meditate and make a yoga pose out of our walk. We start from where we are at. Becoming aware is the first step and the main thing we need to do. We don't change our pace at all. We change our breath with respect to our pace. That's a measure of time as well; we can measure breath in seconds rather than steps.

Form to consider

Bending arms at the elbow and moving them helps pump the heart. If you are breathing three steps in and three steps out, you could lengthen the outbreath to four or five steps. Doing that might be hard, so you could shorten the inbreath, making it a bit more forceful, in two steps.
Continue breathing in through nose and optionally out through mouth.
Yogic breathing, called pranayama, is connecting with healing energy, universal energy, energy of the universe.

Resources

This page:
http://wholeo.net/Trips/Imagine/acts/ritual/refreshingBreathwalk.htm

Breathe along animation for practice:
http://wholeo.net//Trips/Carolyoga/breath/pranaPathBreathing/pranaPathBreathingWesak.htm has a breathing diagram with ratio 2:3 of inbreath to outbreath. It incorporates holds between each one.

Background on this practice:
http://www.himalayaninstitute.org/yogaplus/article.aspx?id=1116

See also Season and 12 solstices and equinoxes. Back to schedule: June 2010 or Sept 2010.

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