The breath is the bridge between the mind and body. If our mind is racing, our breath is usually short and shallow. If our mind is relaxed, our breath is usually slow and more into the belly. By working with the breath, we can change the mind state.
I want to focus on looking at the meaning of the inhale in our lives and in another blog I will focus on the exhale.
When I think of the inhale, I think of the SO HUM mantra and meditation. SO is said in the
mind when inhaling and means 'That.' So when we inhale, we are inviting our attention to fully by on all that is permanent, which is divine, love, God, the infinite. This mantra is the essence of the goal on the path of yoga, to realize 'I am the infinite'. The inhale invites us to go inward.
There are so many ways of using this amazing world around us, though impermanent, to help us find meanings for the inhalation. Looking at the sun, the inhalation might represent the sunrise, the beginning of moving from dark to light, moving into seeing with awareness, inviting the new day which is there for us to learn from, an experience giver.
The changes of season. In moving from the hibernation and pause of winter, spring is that 'breath of fresh air,' drawing in the changes that are bringing new life and renewal, movement. This just made me think of one of the last scenes in the movie, "Gravity," when Sandra Bullock's character has reentered earth's gravity, plunging into the water and then after escaping her pod she surges up, breaking out of the water's surface with a full breath of renewal, desire to live, reborn.
The inhalation, when thinking of movement or activity, is the drawing in before the release of energy out. In that moment, one can visualize the outcome desired with the movement to prep the body to move towards a goal. I think of being out rock climbing. When I'm about to move through a more challenging section, I breath in to create focus of where I want to go, then I exhale (usually more forcefully) with the action.
So, inhalation can also be synonymous with focus and concentration (though for this to fully be realized, the exhale must also come). The breath in draws us inward towards clarity before the action happens to realize the clarity.