To Move

By Ilona Hassan, Toronto, ON

“We are here for a few breaths together,” says Tim after welcoming us onto his Island of Peace. Each movement of the body begins with the movement of breath, mindful inhalation and exhalation. Later, Tim repeatedly says, “be aware that you are about to move.” I am curious as to why we need a warning. The meaning, he explains, is in the awareness of an upcoming movement, which subtly alters the state of the mind and body.

We use breath as a bridge between the mind and body. Tim practices and teaches breathing techniques in the Prana class. We are guided through the Five Winds breathing techniques moving the breath upward, downward, sideways, circular and pervasive breathing that is powerful and purifying. The navel is the seat of five Pranas and balances the movement of breath of the upper and lower body, he explains.

I got dizzy and light-headed after a few forceful inhalations and exhalations. I shared my sensations with Tim joking that this is a non-harming way to get high. He smiled and said that if I do it incorrectly and without guidance, I can harm myself. His friend ended up in a psychiatry ward after practicing withholding breathing, and the Prana practice brought him back to health. The practice of breathing can also lead to a state of enlightenment if practiced with a Guru. Tim’s Guru told him that the movement of breath is life—why do you need to practice being dead?

The movement of breath is also a sound, like the sound of the wind it can be loud or quiet, smooth or fast. Tim often practices tranquillity and calmness in the nature, because the nature is a great teacher. Calm and rhythmic breath lowers the pulse, strengthens the nervous system and helps with the clarity of thoughts. The nature of the island is saturated with the variety of sounds and winds that permeates our body and mind. Be aware of the nature around you. Be aware that you are about to move…

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