When I first started my practice I focused on breathing into points or what you might call the chakras. Yet as my practice evolved, all the points started connecting into one and eventually I realized that this central pillar of light that I’d been building, day after day, breath after breath, was really where it was at.
Your divine center is your place of strength and stability. It is your power source, where you plug in to get replenished and re-Sourced. Like a tree, you are nourished by your downward connection to earth and your upward connection to the heavens. Like a tree, part of yourself is rooted in darkness while the other part reaches toward the light.
People get so caught up with breathing techniques—counting and closing nostrils and all that. And who am I to dismiss hundreds of years of breath work? I’ve only been breathing a mere few decades. But I used to keep a notebook of all the different breathing exercises I came across, and what I’ve concluded IMHO, is that it’s more about disciplining (or distracting) the mind, rather than expanding into the breath. The latter happens naturally, once the mind gets out of the way. Get there however you may. I suspect once you hit upon your pathway, all the unnecessary scaffolding will fall away.
Once you truly connect with your breath, and by extension your center, you can tell when others are disconnected from theirs. They can follow techniques to the letter, but the practice remains hollow. If you’ve ever been around someone who has a palpably calming effect on others by doing nothing other than being themselves, you know what mastery looks and feels like in action. They don’t have to try to direct your breath. Your breath will naturally want to entrain to theirs because it senses coherence and harmony. Their centeredness opens the way for yours—if you are open to it. Nothing is forced.
How will you know when you’ve connected to your center? It isn’t that you’ve merely “calmed down.” It is a change in atmosphere. “Relaxing” and “self care” are not the end game. Your breath opens doors into your most intimate quarters and vast expanses. Your breath creates worlds.
Pause and breathe this in.