As the smoke covers our atmosphere, we have all been challenged into noticing our breath. The beautiful gift of prana is being affected in our daily realities. Prana is the life force energy you intake from your surroundings. Prana fuels your soul & gives you energy. It is one of those things we can't see but is oh so present. So if you've been feeling a bit off, a bit heavy, a bit sedated - signs point to the air quality.
Remember the feeling after recovering from a cold when you are suddenly so grateful for clear air pathways? You feel as if a weight has been lifted & you can finally BREATHE! Well, it seems much of the world affected by wildfire smoke is having the same reaction - feeling the weight of blocked air pathways. We all miss going outside. We all miss walking, running & playing in nature. Now taking your dog for a walk has become a hazardous activity due to the location & air quality levels.
Alas, Ayurveda has something to say…
Prana enters the body through respiration yet is also responsible for circulation, movement & oxygenation, while influencing the mind, emotions & thoughts. If your prana is balanced, you are enthusiastic, excited to live life, creative, adaptable, energetic & fluid through transitions. When your prana is blocked you may feel uninspired, dull, lethargic, & like you can’t quite fully express yourself. Balancing prana is vital to living a happy & fulfilled life. As always, we follow the knowledge of Ayurveda to learn how to nurture our prana.
Techniques to clear the pathways from the toxins in the air:
Nasya:a practice of opening up the nasal passages through a facial oil massage & steam. Then oil is applied into the nostrils & protects the inner pathways. You may also simply put a drop on your fingers & lubricate your inner nostrils.
Facial Steams: add essential oils to your shower & breathe in the clarifying steam. You may also create a facial steam by putting the essential oils to a bowl of boiled water & enclosing your face in the steam with a towel. Start out with a small amount of essential oil drops (2-4) to gauge your sensitivity & close your eyes while in the steam. Be present with the inhalation. Eucalyptus & tea tree are wonderful for this practice.
House Plants: plants are our allies & have magical properties that gift us with fresh air. Consider blessing your home with a Peace lily, Devil’s ivy, English ivy, Spider plant, Lady palm, Weeping fig, Snake plant, Boston fern, Bird’s nest fern, Areca palm, Rubber plant, Aloe vera, Gereba daisy, Monstera deliciosa, Pothos, Dracaena, ZZ plant, Philodendron or all of the above! :)
Air purifier: Our homes accumulate many dust particles & pollutants that we may not even notice. Consider getting an air purifier to really cleanse your home of any impurities.
Herbs are a beautiful addition to healthy respiration.
Expectorant herbsthat are drying & remove mucus from the respiratory system:
Elecampane, Sage, Ginger, Calamus, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Hyssop, Mustard Seed, Orange Peel, Pippali, Yerba Santa
Demulcent herbs that lubricate & alleviate dryness in the body systems while removing mucus:
Licorice, Marshmallow, Mullein, Slippery Elm, Vamsa Rochana (bamboo), Chickweed, Comfrey Root, Flaxseed, Irish Moss
Cough relieving herbs:
Bayberry, Ephedra, Eucalyptus, Horehound, Mullein, Osha, Thyme, Wild Cherry
Experiment with making some teas to alleviate respiratory difficulties & nourish your channels of prana!
The depth of your soul is directly connected to your breath. Breathe deep, live deeply.
Looking towards your breathing patterns in the present moment is a good indicator of your current mental state. When stressed in fight or flight, the breath becomes shallow & constricted. When feeling secure & blissful in your body, the breath is deeper & slower. We often forget that coming to center can be as simple as conscious breathing. Conscious breathing is also known as pranayama, which translates to "an extension or control of the life force energy." It can be as simple as following each inhale & exhale. Please join us in the practice below for a simple exercise. <3
Enter a space with healthy air quality
Let your shoulders fall
Take a breath to settle into your body & relax
Extend your exhale to be longer
Feel each inhale spread out & nourish your whole body
Breathe conscious love into your vessel
Breathe health & vitality into your being