Last week’s Monday Mindfulness began with a simple breathing meditation called Dirga Pranayama. This three-part breath can work as a foundation for all spiritual pursuits, since it can be completed anywhere and in any situation. It is known for reducing stress, increasing focus, and providing the body with life force energy (prana), which we all need to both thrive and survive.
Chronic pain is a condition that plagues many individuals today and is often seen in high amounts with people who pursue spiritual paths. Theories for why have yet to be proved, but the best understood hypothesis is because of our increased sensitivity overall. Empathetically, we can sense the pains of others and the planet more than the secular person. We also are more in tune to our own subtle energy, so when this falls out of balance, we can feel it as physical pain.
Fortunately, we can use meditation to guide healing energy into places of imbalance. Pranic breathing, as well as natural breathing, can restore weakened areas in our subtle energy bodies. Since Dirga Pranayama breathing allows for an increase of prana to come from the Universe and enter our spirits, minds, and bodies, we can heal areas of unbalanced or weakened energy through this and other Pranayama meditations. When we balance the subtle energy body, the physical pain begins to solve itself. The state of our energy is intertwined with the health of our bodies.
Sometimes, this healing is experienced as a gentle popping in the sore muscles, pained digestive system, or stiff joints. Occasionally, one will feel a rush of warm energy bathe the area. At other times, nothing is felt, yet the pranic breath still works beneath the surface. It only requires our trust in this universal life force energy to heal our bodies. Change is not always instantaneous, but is always occurring.
How to Do This Meditation:
This meditation, like Dirga Pranayama, can be completed anywhere. Granted, since this does require more focus and intention than the breathing meditation itself, it may be best to find a quiet space you can close your eyes and deeply involve yourself in the practice.
- Find a steady breathing routine, preferably something intended to increase and balance prana (like Dirga Pranayama). If you cannot complete pranic breath meditations due to a medical condition, use your natural breathing rhythm and just pay attention to it, trusting that your breath is the best way your body fills itself with both life force and oxygen.
- If you wish to and/or are able to, place a hand on the sore or injured area. If you experience partial or full body pain, focus on one singular point, perhaps the sharpest pain currently. If you are free of chronic pain and soreness, focus on an area of your body you know traditionally feels sore or sickens often. Even if it is balanced and healthy now, this meditation will help prevent future ills in the area.
- Once finding a steady, deep breathing cycle, take a second to imagine a healing light or energy entering your body through the inhalation. Most people envision white or green light, which are both healing colors, but you can alter this visual to however it best suits you.
- On the exhalation, imagine tension leaving your body. Visuals are not necessary here, but if it helps to picture something, you can envision dark energy moving out of your mouth or nose. Then see it quickly swept away by the Universe and know it will be transformed into light by the Source.
- Continue visualizing and intending this energy flow as you breathe.
- Once you feel a steady and focused connection to this flow of energy, send the light/healing energy into the place of tension at your next inhale. Feel it travel from your lungs to the area you intend to heal.
- Hold the energy there for a short bit, perhaps picturing the light swirling and cleansing the area of pain.
- Exhale, releasing the tension from the area through the breath.
- Continue this as much as you would like, trusting to just know when the end of this meditation is best for you. It won’t necessarily be the end of the pain at the conclusion of this meditation, but prana will continue to flow even after you leave the breath. Whether or not you felt focused and “successful” with this meditation, your energy is still doing its job to work with your inner healing self to sooth the aches in your body.
Challenges You Might Face:
- Disbelief: This practice, like all spiritual practices, requires trust in the power inherent in the Universe (Source, God, Light, All That Is). Prana flows freely as soon as we trust that it can exist. If you struggle to believe healing your chronic pain could be as easy as daily breathing with intention, the energy will struggle to remain balanced within you. It is human to doubt, it is divine to trust. Even if just for five minutes during this meditation you give yourself the space to trust as best as you can, it will work to its fullest capacity. There is no shame in doubting, just do your best to return to a place of trust or work on manifesting more belief in your life. You don’t have to be infallible, you just have to try.
- Focus: Do your best to remain focused on the breath and visuals, but we all have differing abilities to focus throughout meditations, so it is okay if this is difficult. When you realize your mind is wandering, thank it for being active and wanting to participate, then dismiss it and say it is not needed for a few minutes. Return to the breathing, and do this same ritual as much as is needed throughout this meditation.
- Medical concerns: As always, if you experience major dizziness, feel lightheaded, become fatigued, experience shortness of breath, or any other concerning states of health, stop the meditation and return to your normal breathing pattern.
Other Ways to Apply This Meditation:
- Yoga is one of the best times to practice this meditation, while holding asanas (poses). It’s common to vividly feel the places of tension when muscles are stretched, so breathing into these places through the inhale and releasing during the exhale can not only help deepen the posture, but will also bring restoring energy into the area. Yoga is meant as a meditation practice, and sending pranic breath to areas of tension while stretching the body is the basis of a yoga practice.
- Before you sleep or nap, take some time to send the pranic breath to the area, then as you fall asleep, release the conscious focus on breathing and return to your normal breath, trusting or requesting that the Universe continues to have prana flow through you to heal places of tension.
Your feedback and stories about how this meditation helped you would be wonderful to hear! Also, if you know someone interested in solving their own chronic pain, perhaps consider sharing this blog with them—as simple click could aid their life long problem. And don't forget to subscribe to future blog posts!