Top 4 Breathing Practices to Raise Your Vibration
Physical postures (asana) are only one aspect of a complete yoga practice. Doing nothing but asana is like ordering a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips: it’s still kinda good, but not nearly as good as it should be. Raising your vibration and getting the most out of your time on the mat means creating a well-rounded practice—and that includes pranayama, or breathing exercises.
Try one of the following pranayama techniques to help raise your vibration:
Three-part breathing is soothing and relaxing, and it helps you develop body awareness. When we get more familiar with the body, we learn to recognize subtle shifts in energy and vibration. Rather than trudging through your day wondering why you feel low, you learn to realize your vibration has dropped and you can take steps to raise it—by using, for example, one of the breathing techniques we’ll talk about next.
First: to practice Three-Part Breathing, use your inhale to imagine filling your lower belly, then your rib cage, then up to your collar bone. When you exhale, you release the breath from top to bottom. You can do this with special focus on the back or sides of your body, too.
Various studies have shown that vibration has a positive effect on the body in general and on fascia in particular. How important is it to be able to positively impact the fascial system? Well, it is:
“…the only system that touches all of the other systems. … The involvement of the fascia in dysfunction and disease is pervasive. It is believed that, to some extent, the fascia will necessarily be involved in every type of human pathology.“
You can create a vibration in your body with bhramari breath—exhaling on a humming sound. Also called bumblebee or honeybee breath, the technique has been shown to create bursts of gamma waves, the brain waves associated with better concentration, improved memory, and increased happiness and creativity. On a physical level, bhramari’s healing vibration can also help decrease blood pressure and heart rate and even improve the acoustics of your voice.
It’s an uplifting vibration, and it lifts you up with it.
Wim Hof Method
Wim Hof is the world’s resident Iceman, an actual human who has mastered his own breathing, heart rate, and circulation to the point that he can do incredible feats in freezing environments. He ran a barefoot half-marathon in the Arctic Circle (wearing only shorts!), among other things most of us are better off not attempting.
Still, even if we’re not taking off our shoes and running in the snow, we can learn a thing or two from Wim Hof. Among them, this power breathing technique:
Inhale and exhale through the nose as you settle in a comfortable position, then inhale quickly through the nose and release the exhalation through the mouth, without forcing it. Repeat 30 or 40 times, followed by a final deep inhalation and exhalation, holding the breath out at the bottom. When you need to take a breath, inhale deeply and slowly until you’re full of air, then hold it in for about 15 seconds. Exhale slowly.
That’s one round. You can do three or four in a row before you settle into your meditation, feeling the vibration you’ve created in your body and patting yourself on the back for getting one step closer to mastering your metabolic functions.
Fancy name! It can also be called alternate-nostril breathing, which kind of explains itself, right? Alternate Nostril Breathing is ideal for balancing your energy: right and left, sun and moon.
For alternate nostril breathing, you always use the thumb and ring finger of your right hand to block your nostrils. Start by blocking your right and inhaling through the left, then block the left and exhale right. Reverse it: inhale right, block the right nostril, and exhale left. That’s one round, starting and finishing on the left side. As you advance, you can focus on lengthening the breaths or adding breath retention between each inhale and exhale.
As a balancing, purifying breath, it clears out any stagnancy that can diminish your vibration. Imagine hitting a cymbal: the sound (vibration) moves freely unless you interfere by placing your hand on it. When energy is flowing without interference, you’re free to vibrate at a higher level.
Everything is vibrating, including you, and you can decide if you want that vibration to be at the whim of outside influences—or if you want to take charge of it for the better. Pranayama is a rich practice that gives you some power when it comes to raising your own vibration.
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