Achieving The Deepest States Of Relaxation
The deepest states of relaxation are achieved only through the breath. Although control over the body’s automatic systems are out of reach for most of us, the respiratory system is the only one we can gain conscious control over when ever we want. When we engage with the breath consciously the activity in our brain that governs breathing actually changes. Going from the deeper more primitive parts of the brain to the frontal lobe, which is the highest evolved region of the brain.
When we tune into the breath we are tuning into the present moment completely, the present reality is the only time that growth and evolution can occur. Not only is conscious breathing the foundation of conscious evolution, it is where we stage the experience of all our various emotions, feelings and states of mind. Once we have achieved a total state of relaxation physically, though yoga nidra for example, then relaxation is continued through the breath. Even samadhi has it’s correlating breathing pattern, that is – the suspension of the breath completely.
Every state of mind, every emotion, every inner state has it’s correlating breathing pattern. Although the patterns of the breath are usually reactions to our thoughts and states of mind, we can turn the tide and go the other way through a conscious effort of staying with the breath, releasing all muscular tension in the muscles of respiration and allowing the rhythms of the breath to become increasingly more subtle and calm.
When the breath becomes completely calm and balanced, eventually one realizes they are fully vitalized, and there is no real need to take another breath. This is the beginning of a very wonderful play of consciousness. As one enters into, and remains in, states of suspended breath – where either the breath is so subtle the inhale and exhale can hardly be discerned, or the breath is suspended completely – one goes deeper and deeper into states beyond relaxation, as you approach the bliss of pure being in-and-of it’s self.
In samadhi the breath stops all together. The difference between samadhi and death is only that one remains alive through the experience. This is why life force and the breath have always been seen as being one. Only with the breath is there the external manifestation, or creation, of life. The inner life of spirit, however, begins where the breath ends.