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Power of the Breath. May the Prana be with you.

Just breathe. We look at the power of the breath and how it can help you deal with whatever life throws at you.

Stress-causing life events

I’m moving house. There’s a phrase strong enough to bring even the most resilient of people out in a cold sweat. In fact, the whole process of buying a house can be nothing but pure torture leaving your nerves in absolute shreds. It even takes a toll on your relationships with your nearest and dearest, you know, the ones you had the crazy idea to move house with in the first place.

What if the removal people don’t turn up on time? Or if they’re too early? What if they break something? How will you make them tea when you’ve already packed the kettle and won’t the best china get knocked over whilst moving other things and will they think less of you if you just give them the chipped mugs you got free with petrol in 1985… and breathe.

Escape and Breathe

What I do when I’m starting to feel like this is take myself off for a little savasana; I literally go and lie on the wood floor in the hall. Now, I should at this point tell you that it is best to warn your pets before you try this as I have had a couple of incidences where I’ve been checked to see if I’m dead.

Get on the floor, take up your favourite savasana pose, get comfortable (whatever you need to wriggle do it until it all feels relaxed and grounded), let all the unnecessary worries go. You know the song from Frozen, the one you’ve now got stuck in your head for the rest of the day (I am so sorry), well maybe Elsa knows what she’s talking about: let it go.

How does the breath contain so much power?

Remember what we’re taught in yoga classes – breathe in the good stuff and breathe out the bad stuff. The ‘good stuff’ being Prana (or ‘The Force’ for those of you wanting to think of it like a Jedi) and the ‘bad stuff’ being everything you’re storing in your neck, shoulders, jaw…that stuff can quite frankly do one. Think of it like being possessed and you’re giving yourself a home-made exorcism (too weird? Sorry. Apparently I need to ease up on the horror films.)

What does Prana mean and where does the word come from?

Prana is recognised in many cultures and religions as a ‘life force’. It also means, quite simply ‘breath’. If you’ve read the Philip Pullman Northern Lights series, Prana seems to me to be a bit like ‘dust’ or you could even think of it as being all the tiny atoms which come together to make everything.

That means it is all around us, available to everyone and doesn’t cost a penny. And no doubt it would be the only thing in the process of buying a house that hasn’t cost you something!

Prana can be interpreted however you want it to be, but if we think back to a young Skywalker taking his first lessons, then ‘Use the Prana’* is a helpful thing to remember when you’re stuck in an overwhelming situation and need to harness the power of the breath.

*This can of course be exchanged for ‘Use the Force’ if that makes you chuckle to yourself…just don’t let the removal team see you using a rolling pin as a lightsaber.

Read more – yoga to relieve stress & anxiety.

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