Breathing exercises

Which mysterious relationship links the breath to our life, to our embodied existence?…

To become aware of our breath, this perpetual coming and going, is to tune ourselves to the rhythms that vivify all worlds, big and small.

There is a very advanced science of breathing among the yogis of India: these complex techniques require patience and perseverance.

For Westerners, Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov proposes simple, poetic, effective and safe exercises.

Complexity of yogic exercises
For thousands of years, the science of breathing has been particularly developed in India, where it has given rise to techniques that are often very complex. This science is so vast that it would take years to study it. Indian yogis have understood the importance of breathing for vitality, but also for the functioning of psychic life. They have gone very far in their research: not only have they been able to grasp that all the rhythms of the human organism are based on cosmic rhythms, but by studying breathing and its links with the rhythms of the universe, they have discovered that in order to be able to enter into a relationship with such and such an entity or such and such a region of the spiritual world, one must find a certain rhythm just like a key, as one does when one is looking for a certain wavelength to pick up a radio broadcast. You have to know which rhythm to breathe with in order to get in touch with this entity or this region of the universe.
However, I do not advise you now, to venture into complicated breathing exercises: you are not Indian yogis, and if you are not careful and reasonable, you could lose your balance and damage your health, as it has already happened to many people.
Synopsis Collection No. 2 III-5 p. 204-5
Inhaling and exhaling light
I want to tell you one more way to do the breathing exercises. While inhaling, imagine that you are attracting cosmic light, that light infinitely more subtle than sunlight, that intangible, invisible quintessence that penetrates everything. You introduce this light within you so that it circulates through all the cells of your organs… Then, as you exhale, you project it so that it sustains and illuminates the whole world. This exercise is another application of the letter Aleph: by doing so you become Aleph, the being who receives the celestial light to give it to humans.
Collection Synopsis n°2 III-5 – p. 207
Breathe in and out: ebb and flow
Breathing can reveal great mysteries to the one who knows how to combine it with a mental work. You can do the following exercise: as you inhale, you imagine that all the currents of space converge towards you, towards your ego, which is like an unperceivable point, the centre of an infinite circle… Then, as you exhale, you imagine that you manage to extend yourself until you reach the ends of the universe… Once again you expand, and once again you contract… You thus discover this movement of ebb and flow which is the key to the rhythms of the universe. As you try to consciously bring this movement within yourself, you enter into cosmic harmony and there is an exchange between you and the universe, for in inhaling you receive elements from space, and in exhaling you project something from your heart and soul in return.
Collection Synopsis n°2 III-5 – p. 203
A simple exercise
The breathing exercises that we practice in our School are very simple. They are as follows:
  1. Block the left nostril with the middle finger of the right hand and inhale deeply through the right nostril counting four beats.
  2. Hold your breath for sixteen beats.
  3. Close the right nostril with the thumb of the right hand and exhale through the left nostril, counting eight beats.
Repeat the exercise in the other way around:
  1. Close the right nostril and inhale through the left nostril for four beats.
  2. Hold the breath while counting sixteen beats.
  3. Block the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril, counting eight beats.
Repeat six times for each nostril.
Collection Synopsis n°2 III – 5 p. 205
Life and breath
For every human being, life begins with a breath. Birth is the moment when a child takes its first breath. He opens his little mouth, he cries out, and everyone rejoices thinking: “Praise God, he is alive! “It is thanks to the first breath that the lungs fill with air and begin to work. And then, when years and years later they say that someone has taken his last breath, or that he has exhaled forever, then everyone understands that he has died. The breath is the beginning and the end. Life begins with an inhalation and ends with an exhalation.
All the mystery of life is contained within breathing. But life is not in the air itself, nor in the act of breathing. Life comes from a higher element than air and for which air is sustenance: fire. Yes, life is in fire, and the function of air is to sustain fire. Life is in the heart, it is like a fire contained in the heart, and the lungs are like a pair of bellows that continuously sustain the fire. The origin, the primary cause of life is therefore fire; and the air, which is its brother, sustains and vivifies it. With the last breath the fire is extinguished, the last sigh extinguishes the fire.
Collection Synopsis n°2 III – 5 p. 200