Breathing for Balance

Yogic traditions understand the importance of breath, and one that I find particularly beneficial is the Ujjayi breath, or Dragon breath as I like to call it.

You can watch me demonstrate it on my Youtube channel here.

It is a powerful way of breathing that bathes the adrenal glands in revitalising energy, strengthening the energetic core and sending this strength through all of the other energy systems.

It is an empowering, centring way to work with breath to affect whole system balance. It is simple to do, and takes a little bit of practice to get it, but once you have it you can use it anywhere and everywhere. Esther Eckart’s fantastic video does a great job to show you the basics and I highly recommend it.

There are 3 basic tenets to working with Dragon Breath:

1. Gently constrict the back of the throat as you breathe in and out so that you hear and experience a very slight rasping in the back of the throat. To me it makes the same sound that you hear when you lift a shell to your ear and listen for the sea. Gentle, rhythmic, powerful.

2.  Imagine that you have a floppy balloon behind your belly button. As you breathe in the balloon starts to fill and you allow the breath to expand you in all directions. So the energy of the breath fills the belly, the ribs, the chest, the back, the sacrum, the pelvic floor, the waist, as you breathe horizontally, vertically, and diagonally.

3. Once you have worked with the 2 points above and feel comfortable with the constriction of the throat and the fullness of breath, then begin to work with the direction of the breath. Visualising the breath coming in through the feet, all the way up the legs, the trunk of the body and out of the top of the head. As you breathe out then allow the energy of the breath to flow through your biofield/aura, back down to the ground.

It takes a lot longer for me to write this than for you to do it, so practice  steps 1 and 2 a few times to familiarise yourself with it and then bring in step 3. The benefits to your health make it so worth the exploration.

One of my teachers, Donna Eden, has adapted it and uses a very short, intense version of the breath and names it the Darth Vader Breath because of the sound the breath can make when breathing very deeply while constricting the throat.  I began calling it ‘Dragon Breath’ after working with a client who had experienced sexual abuse; the concept of ‘Darth Vader’, with it’s dark, out-of-balance masculinity, was a frightening one to her and although the exercise was exactly what I thought would help her, I knew that unless she could find a way to identify with the name, she wouldn’t be able to connect with the breath and use it to help her heal. As she shuddered, ‘Yuk, Darth Vader.’ My brain scanned to find something more acceptable yet appropriate for the sound that the breath makes. ‘Dragon Breath’ I corrected. She relaxed, ‘Dragon Breath?’ she asked curiously, ‘ How do I do it?’.

It highlights so greatly the power of the words that we use, and the essential need for us to be able to identify with the words or the name of an exercise.

And why ‘Dragon’? Well, for those of you who have heard the sound that a Dragon makes when it needs to increase its power you’ll know exactly why! When we engage in Dragon Breath our ability to interact with the energy from the earth is greatly increased. We pull earth energy up through our kidney meridian which begins in the feet and when we work with the Dragon Breath then it opens that channel even greater. It looks to me literally like our bodies are sucking energy in as we work with Dragon Breath, bringing in that primal energy and using it to nourish and revitalise the energetic core. The Dragon breath is amazing for people who need to build  greater resilience in their aura as it really breathes the aura strong from the inside out. If you want to be strong and resilient… enter the Dragon!

With love, Prune