Breathing into Freedom: A Meditation in Prison
Pranayama (pra‧na‧ya‧ma): is a Sanskrit word alternatively translated as "extension of the prana (breath or life force)" or "breath control." The word is composed from two Sanskrit words: prana meaning life force (noted particularly as the breath), and either ayama (to restrain or control the prana, implying a set of breathing techniques where the breath is intentionally altered in order to produce specific results) or the negative form ayama, meaning to extend or draw out (as in extension of the life force). It is a yogic discipline with origins in ancient India.
“Pranayama. Control of the breath. When we are upset, our breathing changes. It speeds up, and we can become flustered. Breathing is intimately linked with emotion and emotional response. Learning to better control our breathing in a conscious manner allows us to better control our overall emotional state and specific emotional responses.
Our everyday environment is filled with noise and chaos – non-stop sensory input. We are consciously aware of much of this, but how much does it affect our subconscious mind? How much of this creates a tension in our psyche and nervous system? I think completely silent and still meditation calms the waves of this process and allows an overall smoothness to occur. A leveling out of brain activity.
Brain scan studies on those who meditate have scientifically proven the mind/body health benefits of meditation. I have personally felt the benefits from years of practice and experience.”
– Rob Will, February 2018