Breathe in deeply. I mean it – take a breath and breathe in deeply so you can feel the air flow past your nostrils. Then breathe out and feel your chest sink and your body relax. Now do this again until you have done it three times before reading any more…..
Do you feel any different? And do you feel better? When you breathed in did it feel like the air was blowing away the cobwebs in your brain? And when you breathed out did you feel yourself relaxing, letting go?
Most of us have fond memories of walking outside in nature on a beautiful day and feeling the breeze blowing through our hair. You know those times when you can just stand there because it is like the wind is blowing all your cares away. It feels purifying, vitalizing and relaxing all at the same time. Well welcome to wonderful element of air!
Of course you can’t see air. You can watch the clouds blow across the sky or the trees sway in the wind. And the fact that it is not as solid as the other elements hints at its mutable and less stable qualities.
Air surrounds us all yet it does not hold anything. As mentioned you can’t see air but you can feel it move. Air can move fast and so is virtually impossible to grasp. So it’s not surprising air is associated with thought, communication, travel, intellect, abstract thinking, detachment joy, laughter, and freedom.
‘Airy people’ are quick and animated and tend to intellectualize their feelings and expectations. They also apply their energies in very diverse ways. So if you are feeling bogged down and can’t come up with the right ideas why not tune into the element of air in your meditations to inspire you.
If you would like to connect in with the balancing healing qualities of the element of air try out the ‘Air’ track on our Dru Meditation DVD, which aims to help you feel calm and tranquil. It draws on pranayama to take you into deep relaxation.
In Hinduism the word for air is vāyu and the word for wind is pavana. The Sanskrit translation of vāyu is “blower”, and prāna is “breathing” (viz. the breath of life). This is interesting because the deity that is known as the spiritual son of Vayu (air) is known as Pavana (wind) Suta Hanuman. Hanuman is strong and plays an important role in the Hindu’s spiritual life and it’s not surprising that he is associated with pranayama (breathwork). And pranayama is one of the most important tools in the toolbox of both the yogi and meditator.
Pranayama-the ancient yogic science that deals with the control of the life-force within our bodies, is achieved by the control of the breath through the practice of various breathing exercises. And its benefits are many.
The ancient yogis knew that the length of life is not determined by the number of years, but by the number of breaths that we breathe.
Pranayama also helps to balance the emotions and bring calm and clarity to the mind. But most importantly for the meditator, it prepares you in a focused way to go deeper in to the stillness of meditation. I highly encourage you to explore practicing pranayama before each of your meditation sessions.
If you would like a calm clear mind for the New Year here is a simple technique:
MEDITATION FOR A CALM CLEAR MIND
- find a quiet spot
- sit in a comfortable position – chair or floor
- close your eyes
- back straight shoulders relaxed
- relax by visualising a smile flowing upwards from feet to head
- become aware of your breath in and out and focus at third eye centre
- breathe in 4: pause for 4: breathe out 4: pause for 4
- do this several times then sit in silence for a few minutes