The Healthiest and Richest Food on the Planet!
First off, it's not what you think!
I want to reiterate that I am not a professional in the medical field and my opinions are merely viable suggestions that could be helpful in your lifestyle as they are for mine. But we all come with our own little blueprint, as we are made completely unique, physically.
The healthiest food on the planet in my opinion and the ancient yogi's opinion, is AIR. Fresh clean oxygen derived by plants, more particularly air filled with prana or pranic energy.
What inspired me to write this blog, was an experience I had a couple of weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and suffered a bronchial asthma attack.
A brief background, my younger lifestyle and recklessness, along with other factors caught up to me in my recent years. I currently have chronic bronchitis, making me extremely sensitive around smoke, anything expired, too much phlegm from a common cold, cat litter; basically anything that is not supposed to be breathed in, affects me immediately sending me into bronchial spasms or asthma attacks. Of course during my first years, I entrusted modern western traditional medicine and the albuterol (steroid inhaler) they prescribed. Inhaled steroids are far different from anabolic steroids, but nonetheless a steroid, or unnatural substance that I feel doesn't belong in the body. The inhaler always made me shaky, jittery, light headed, were very costly and even worse made me self-reliant. That was until that night I discovered the power of Pranayama.
What brought me to putting what I learned about pranayama to use during one of my bronchial asthma attacks, was some of the reading I did earlier in the day. During my yoga teacher training we were prompted to read "The Complete Book of Yoga." By James Hewitt, as part of our curriculum. Sometimes I re-read materials from my training to keep the knowledge fresh in my mind.
There are many methods of Pranayama or "breath control" purification practices that help us cultivate vital air and universal energy, that a whole book can - and possibly is- written about it. But I am REIGNING myself in big time to keep the description as simplified as possible for this blog post. A true Yoga practitioner practices multiple ways of purifying themselves: mind, body, and soul to become the Highest Self.
The pranayama method I used, Ujayi breathing, or victorious breath, I think is the simplest. Some key points:
Sit up nice and tall, shoulders up and back in any of the yogic sitting postures.
Focus on the breath, smooth steady inhalations, equal exhalations
Begin by steadily breathing into your chest, all the way into your belly ( slightly constricting the airways for evenness) until you're at the top of your breath.
Hold your breath a few seconds
Slowly exhale with control and at the end of your breath lifting up your pelvic floor muscles and pulling in your belly, to expel the very last breath.
Hold the exhale for a few seconds.
Drop your belly, release your pelvic floor muscles and steadily inhale
Repeating this cycle with a preferred inhale to hold, to exhale to hold ratio of 1:1:1 for the beginner
This practice can be described and practiced more intricately, but this is a very beginner friendly method of Ujayi breathing. There are many reasons to practice pranayama: To build healthier breathing habits ( modern day living and stress causes us to develop shallow weak breathing), Lift ourselves out of fatigue, dispel anxiety or fear, or my favorite : to soothe asthma attacks naturally.
Meditation played an integral part in concentrating to steady my breathing that night during one of my attacks, but after a few minutes, my airways relaxed and I was breathing fine, without use of my inhaler. The best part is I got to stay in my bed! Along with tea tree oil for extra strength, I discovered a way to overcome an attack naturally using nothing but my bodily productions. Which was one of the suggestions in the book I was reading earlier in the day. Pranayama ultimately fulfills one of the ancient yogi's most advocated beliefs, the body has the power to heal itself if properly cared for. And that anything we seek, anything we need, can be found within ourselves.