Expansion and Contraction
This is one of the primary Universal Laws that we are working with. Everything in the Universe is either in a state of expansion or contraction. This is true of all beings and in all moments. There has long been a theory that the Universe is currently expanding and that it eventually will reverse and move into a contraction phase.
You are constantly following this pattern with your breath. The inhale breath is your expansion. Your lungs fill with Prana or life force. This is the active Yang moment. You are not only breathing air when you inhale. The air is the vehicle for the vitality, the subtle, delicate non-material aspect moving through the air.
You are drawing vital essence into your body. You are bringing energy into yourself.
The inhale you are being born. Every inhale is a moment of rebirth.
On the exhale, you are experiencing the contraction. The exhale is the mini death.
In life, we are constantly sending out or losing energy. You can feel it in your relationships, when you are in a crowded place full of people or in a situation that is heavy or with someone that is ill. Your vital force is draining out. It is being called toward those that need it and are desperately grasping for it. When you are alone in nature, you are revitalized. This is why it is so important to take these alone times in nature to refill.
When all of the energy is drained from a being, any being, then there is death.
In practice, we are sinking our energy down into the earth in this contraction, releasing phase. This is a space to release and let go of energy that might be holding us back or that is no longer needed. The focus here is on the exhale breath, relaxation and surrender.
Most of the time, we aren’t fully exhaling and releasing all of the air from our lungs. This allows the old energy and toxins to remain in the body for a long time causing stagnation and illness.
When we really need to move a lot of energy out, we can use a powerful exhale breath through the mouth. Often, I see sensitive people and healers that are feeling a lot of energy and needing to move it use this breath naturally.
When we want to collect and keep more of the Prana in our body we breathe only through the nose. This is why they teach Uijiyi breath in Yoga Asana (postures as in a typical Yoga class.) You are using the energy to help move your body, not just your muscles doing all of the work. This breath is also calming to the system.
As we inhale, we pull energy up from the earth. We are pulling the magnetic force up into our body. We also work with pulling energy down from above. This gives a stream of negative Telluric energy from below and positive Cosmic energy from above. You become the balance in the middle.
The inhale draws the life force in, the exhale can be used for either collecting the energy in the Dan Tien, the storage point in the abdomen below the belly button, or it can be used for creating movement.
Using this expansion and contraction concept as a standing, walking, running, dancing or sexual meditation we can experience the down (exhale) and the up (inhale) as we dip down into the earth, then pull the energy up and allow it to flow through our body.
We use a focus in the pelvic floor to assist in this process. On the inhale, there is a slight contraction in the perineum which is the base of the body, the home of the Root Chakra, Muladhara Chakra. On the exhale we can relax fully the muscles of the area. It is a practice and an ever evolving awareness to find these muscles, learn to contract them, pull the energy up and then to relax. I have found that the best tool for this is to work with a small, soft Yamuna Body Rolling ball to open the usually contracted and unused muscles and get them livened again.
It is as though we are drinking the nectar of the Earth up through a straw in the base of our body.
Making this a regular practice gives you a greater connection to your grounded self and to the store of energy that is available to you at all times to use in your body.
The energy flowing upward gives you the power to propel forward. Movement becomes easier and more fluid. Instead of working so hard you are using the force of the Earth to move you.
The experience of expansion and contraction is also true in the process of transformation. You will have the experience of expansion where you feel more connected to Universal energy and love. You will have moments of deep relief from clearing things from your system. You will have revelatory experiences where things feel clear and calm. You have the ability to experience bliss.
Know that with expansion there is also contraction. You may also experience pain, disconnect or a contracted feeling. Sometimes we become afraid that all of the work was for not and we are back at square one and have not evolved.
This is just the natural flow of energy. You will right back to a place closer to center. This is the rebalancing process.
So, when you are feeling high and full, store it, use it, acknowledge it. When you are feeling the deep dive to your depths or the contraction of your being surrender and relax. Use the witness inside to watch the process unfold.
Then you are truly part of nature and can appreciate every moment for what is.
KATHERINE BIRD 2015