The Power of Water
Often as I teach you may hear me say, follow the waves of your breath. It is an ebb & flow, that has a cycle that is never ceasing, till we are no longer in our physical form. An image comes to my mind, of the ocean waves, the sound, rhythm & intensity of them. I feel the exhale is like the waves that leave the beach, clearing it of all debris & the inhale is like the wave crashing on the beach, brining with it energy. This short article below gives you a simple practice using the ocean waves as a connection with your breath.
Exhale & Inhale with the Ocean Waves
By Jill TupperMarch 20, 2012 be inspired, body*mind*soul, mindfulness & meditation
"It all comes down to our breath. As odd as that sounds, it is true. Breath is Life. Did you know that we can live up to a month without food, a week without water, three to four days without sleep, but only three to four minutes without breathing. All the cells in our body require oxygen. Without it, they couldn’t move, build, reproduce and turn food into energy. Our inhalation brings in fresh oxygen needed to fuel our cells and our exhalation releases the waste products our body cannot make use of and if not expelled would be toxic.
Did you know that our 1st breath as we emerge from our mother’s womb is an exhale and the last breath we take as we let go of life, is an exhale. That is because our exhales are about letting go, making room and creating space. When we are stressed or anxious, we tend to hold our breath while holding on to stress and tension.
I just spent a week on the beach and was reminded at how it invites you to breath with it. Exhaling as the tide goes out and inhaling as the tide comes in. It’s natural rhythm is alluring and I believe that it is the reason so many of us are transformed by being in its presence. Just being near the ocean, resets our breath to its natural state.
The ocean invites us to breath with it. Letting go of the old, worn out thoughts, worries, troubles, angst with each exhale and clearing the way. The inhale is fresh, vibrant,life-giving and unencumbered and opens the mind to new possibilities while freeing it from old stressed out ways of thinking.
I love practicing this breath even without the ocean. It’s simple- just follow these 4 steps.
1. Imagine the Ocean– use a photo or capture the picture in your mind’s eye.
2. Involve your senses…Feel the warmth of the sun on your face, the sand between your toes and the smell of salt water.
3. Now hear the waves coming in and going out…gently align your exhale with the waves going out and picture letting go of whatever you are gripping by allowing it to be carried out into the ocean and completely dissipate. Once the exhale is complete and the lungs feel cleared out…Inhale with the tide coming in. Envision inhaling the radiant beauty of the ocean and its vast freedom.
4. Exhale & Inhale with the ocean waves 7 x or until you feel that your breath has expanded and your energy is enhanced.
Return to this practice any time you notice yourself stressing and holding your breath and come back into sync with your natural life- giving rhythm."
Water is a part of nature that is so connected with us. We can’t survive long without water it is the source of all life & even our bodies are made up of more that 50% water. So connecting to water & how it affects us, is natural. Water by it’s nature, flows around obstacles in it’s path. It looks for the path of least resistance, but if it can’t find a way around the obstacle, it will build up until it flows over. Over time, the water will wear away the obstacle itself, but this takes time & persistence.
Can we use this idea of water as a way to learn to go with the flow & when we can’t, to find a way to move around or through what is in our way.
I’ve asked my students to plant seeds of intention in our practice, as Spring is the catalyst for this in nature. If we can allow the fluid nature of the breath, like water, to sprout these seeds, they can grow. During the spring I always speak of new beginnings. This idea of the wave of the breath allows a new beginning with every breath. We can release what isn’t serving us on each exhale & the body
allowing something new to enter on each inhale. Connecting our practice to a flow of the breath, with the body moving with this flow, makes it a meditation in motion. Like water that flows within us, we can harness it’s power to help us with anything that is in our path & to help grow what is needed in our lives.
If you need some extra practice, & you work downtown Calgary, consider joining us for the Spring session of Yoga for a Healthy Back’s class on Tuesdays 12-1pm, starting April 11.
Feel free to share this with anyone who might be interested.
Anne Cox E-RYT 500