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The Transformational Power of the Breath, by Ellenit Serrano

August 13, 2014

SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 11

Welcome to Week 11 of Summer of Well-Being! Our guest blogger this week is Ellenit Serrano. Read her blog below to learn about the transformation effects of focused breathing, and don’t forget to share your thoughts!


“We must live fully before we die.  We must generate sufficient energy to realize

ourfull potential. The journey to our core is arduous; 

only pranic energy can take us there.”   —B.K.S. Iyengar

 

Before you begin reading this blog, I want you to breathe.

REALLY BREATHE…..

Take a deep, slow inhale through the nose and envision breath and energy filling your body.

Feel the expansion in your chest and oxygen filling the lungs as you deepen the inhale.

Retain that breath for as long as you can then just as slowly – exhale and feel the release.

Notice how your belly hollows out and empties in the process.

Repeat this a few times before you continue reading.

 

How do how you feel?  Do you notice a change from just a few moments ago?  Were you able to calm SOMETHING down?  Maybe you were able to calm your thoughts, your nerves, your physical pain or your stress just for a moment after taking a few short conscious breaths.  The good news is that you have the ability to become conscious of your breath (as opposed to involuntarily just breathing) and control it during any and all activities of your life.

We often take it for granted when someone says “just breathe”   but when you really think about it, your breath, in each moment, defines the span of your life.  Once it’s gone your life on this earthly plane ceases.  In yoga we speak about “prana”, the energy that permeates the universe at all levels many times referred to as our “Life Force”, or the “Breath of Life”.

Your next breath is the most powerful opportunity for transformation that exists.

In fact, in this moment your next breath is the beginning of the rest of your life!

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At the beginning of my yoga classes I often tell my students that if they do nothing else but focus on their breath, with awareness, for the duration of the class they are getting the full benefit of the practice.

Of course it’s OK to just breathe unconsciously after all it means we are still alive!  But magic happens when we slow down, become conscious and influence the flow of our breath.  As we inhale, we breathe in fresh oxygen and energy into the body converting and merging it with our physical form.  In essence, we breathe spirit into the flesh; we are in union (yoga) with the divine energy of the universe.

As we retain the breath we allow that energy to nourish every cell in our body allowing healing to occur.  We use the exhale to get rid of toxins and to consciously let go of thoughts and energies that no longer serve us. We create space for the new.

For me, breath work started as part of my yoga practice years ago.  I learned to become aware of my breathing; allowing it to keep me centered and to empty my mind.  With practice this has become almost second nature.  It’s easier to pick up on certain signs such as shortness of breath, lack of focus, or anxiety building up that reminds me I need to take a moment and come back to the breath.  Sometimes that’s all it takes right before a big presentation, in preparing for a response to a child, or to get perspective on wandering thoughts.

There was a time in my life when I had to put a huge reminder on my office white-board to “BREATHE”.  Now it’s just a technique I more often than not, use in my personal and professional life.  When I do it has direct, positive outcomes and always makes a huge difference in the way I feel.

With practice we are able to calm the body and mind at will.  We learn to create space in between our thoughts to allow new ideas and new opportunities to emerge. We learn to listen to our inner voice, turn the outside world on mute and be led by our Truth.  What materializes is transformation and growth in ways unimagined.

 

Just Breathe…


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Ellenit Serrano
SBL LAC Strategy, Analytics and Integration
Global Products and Solutions of MasterCard Worldwide

Ellenit is a certified Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga instructor and Reiki level 1 and 2 Healer. Becoming an instructor was an unexpected part of her personal evolution given that she has a full-time career with MasterCard. As such, she  uniquely integrates the yin and yang of her corporate and yoga roles into her teaching and practice. In her classes she seeks to inspire her students through music, affirmations, aromatherapy and lighting, creating a full sensory experience.
Facebook: facebook.com/ellenit.serrano
Email: Namastelle7@gmail.com

 

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