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Pranayama

As we tend to our lives during a time of great upheaval, I thought it would be especially relevant now to share excerpts from my book that can be helpful.
~Élise
 
PRANAYAMA

Being an entrepreneur is scary. When afraid, our bodies can go into freeze mode as prey do to play dead and lose the interest of a potential predator. We can consciously change our physical state from feeling stressed to calm in the presence of oxygen. It was a conscious choice for me soon after completing physical therapy school to always make my way to a calm state and function from that state rather than to get myself into a place of emotional pain and fear, which I had imposed on myself regularly to do well in school. 

  

When you take a deep breath in, your heart rate quickens slightly. As you exhale, your heart rate slows. Repeated deep breaths will naturally bring your heart rate more in sync with your breath. This leads your brain to release endorphins, which are chemicals that have a natural calming effect.

Breathing is fundamental, but often when we try to breathe deeply we realize that focus is required. When stressed we breathe fast and shallow. We can think better when our cells are oxygenated. It wakes us up. We feel alive. Pranayama helps relax the mind by oxygenating it. The brain releases Endorphins. After mom’s death I couldn’t breathe deeply, ever. In part I didn’t want to breathe at all because I wanted to be with her. After 9 years of restricted breathing, I was ready to embrace breathing fully again.

It’s the Astrologer Renay Oshop who gave me the name of a DVD entitled “Pranayama for Self-Healing Demonstrated by Vasant Lad.” She told me that it is imperative to follow precisely the number of times we do each breath. She said “If you do more than 8 per session, you will find yourself in the Himalayas meditating on a mountain becoming enlightened.” Since my goal was to breathe better, not to leave my husband and children, I heeded her warning seriously.

In the video Dr. Lad demonstrates 10 exercises to repeat daily. It takes about 30 minutes to go through the sequence. The secret is to know that this DVD exists. It’s easy to find it. This practice is particularly supportive when I need courage and energy; that is to say every day. After a Pranayama session I am ready to live full-force; to seize the day by the antlers. My question becomes: where is my cape? Because now I am the heroine of my life.