For Your Breath
Have you ever watched a baby or child breathe? Look closely: you will see the belly rise on the inhale and fall on the exhale. Intuitively, we are born knowing how to breathe completely. As we grow older, our breath rises up into our lungs, until we are breathing quick, shallow breaths as a regular practice. This is traditionally how humans breathe when panicked, and in doing so we activate the stress-response system, releasing adrenaline cortisol, ready to fight or fly. If we breathe this way all the time, our body's sympathetic nervous system responds in kind, and we are perpetually in a state of stress, while not receiving full oxygenation.
Calm Birth introduces the practice of complete breathing: intending the air and the energy within it down and into the energy center. This “center” resides about three finger-widths above and below the navel. It has been called the naval chakra, hara, and other names in many traditions. Here, it is referred to as the Vase of Life: a luminous, soft vase that can be filled with life-giving energy for the meditator and the child growing within.
The breathing of vital energy from the air is an element of Buddhist, Tai Chi, Qi Kung, and Hindu meditation science. The vital energy in the air, traditionally called prana or chi, is life-giving energy of the universal field. The energy is ubiquitous and may be directly sensed and breathed. As evidenced by the belly-breathing of babies and children, humans are made to breathe this way. People have been intentionally breathing energy for centuries in various traditions. Breathing vital energy from the air into the Vase helps shift from mind to awareness, bringing two remarkable assets to childbirth: a method to see and release any anxiety and fear may arise, and increased ability to cope with the sensations of labor from a place of calm and empowerment. Womb Breathing strengthens the woman’s immune system and strengthens her ability to distinguish between mind and awareness, and between pain and suffering. This practice can be carried forth into any type of birth, from homebirth to cesarean, so that the mother and partner may feel a sense of inner peace and empowerment, and a connection to the child being born.
These practices are not only for pregnancy and childbirth: meditation will optimally be carried into every breath of life. Meditation’s blessings of compassion, health, empathy, connection, ability to appraise challenges positively and cope with stress healthfully, are incredibly beneficial during parenthood and beyond. This is why we offer Calm Mother and Calm Healing: so that you can continue to empower life.