THE SQUARE SYMMETRICAL BREATH
At the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes, day and night are of equal length. The equinoxes are the point of balance between the two solstices: the Summer Solstice when the days are longest and the Winter Solstice when the nights are longest. The Spring Equinox is like an athlete poised ready for action as the year enters its light, growth phase. Whereas the Autumn Equinox marks the beginning of the dark, composting phase of the year.
On the two equinoxes every year the Sun shines directly on the Equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal – but not exactly. The September equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from north to south and vice versa in March.
Both the Spring and Autumn Equinox are rich with symbolism that you can integrate in to your yoga practice and your life. Also by aligning your own energies to the natural rhythms of the earth and the suns’ cycles you can achieve outward success during the growth phase of the year, and enjoy rest, contemplation and renewal during the dormant phase of the year.
To know the exact time when the equinox occur in your region consult: www.timeanddate.com/calendar/seasons.html
Our proposal technique for this month is The square symmetrical breath that can be trained whenever you are walking, both in nature or in the city.
This simple breathing exercise expands the vitality and generates a massive accumulation of energy in the whole body, efficiently invigorating the mind. It increases the capacity of mental control, inducing a state of inwardness, tranquillity and equanimity close to meditation.
It helps you to be in tone with the rhythm of the Earth planet and prepares you to use the maximum of the balanced energy of the Autumn Equinox.
- Focus your attention in the gravity centre of the body, just under the navel. Visualise the vertebral column and the energies flowing up and down along the spine. Be aware of the relaxing effects on the mind.
- Exhale through the mouth (two steps).
- Hold your breath for other two steps.
- Inhale through the nose (two steps).
- Retain the air in the lungs (two steps).
- Exhale through the mouth (two steps). Without any break, repeat steps 3 – 6 continuously for about five-ten minutes.
- At the end become aware of and observe the effects of this breathing exercise.
- You may increase the number of steps in accordance with your breath capacity. This should be done always respecting the symmetry of all the four stages of the breath and only if you feel at ease, without doing any effort in any one of its four phases (exhalation, inhalation or the two breath holding).
- If you want, you may mentally repeat the AUM mantra for each step, thus you revitalise the capacity of your mental concentration.