This week I was privileged to view a video that stunned me with its beauty and sacredness.  If you go to the dictionary, ecstatic is described as “in a trance like state of great rapture or delight.  Showing or feeling great enthusiasm.  And….a person who has periods of intense trance like joy”.

In this video you will view a woman giving birth in the most sacred and natural of ways – the way in which it was meant to be.  The most important component in these hours of “labor” was breath, and the sounding that birthed from the breath.  There is no doubt that there is pain involved as you watch this beautiful woman in her birthing passage, yet it is the breath that washes the pain through and expands the stressful process of birthing through “sounding out breath” into an ecstatic state.

I invite you to watch this video now and then come back to see what you can do to practice “sounding out” your breath.

Dr. Chris Northrup posted this link on her twitter feed.  It’s a video of a woman going through labor and birth – an ecstatic birth experience.  The video is 18 minutes long.  I say take the time to watch the entire video.  It is worth every moment spent whether you have ever given birth or not.

You’ll find it here: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=149916791692395&ref=share

Sounding Out Breath Practice:
Last week we talked about how the breath is such an integral part of being able to sing with your full being and voice.  A big part of the healing power of singing, sounding, and chanting is that they work to regulate our breathing. When we sing, whatever the words of the song, we tend to “sound the breath out” until it’s time to inhale. The more often we sing, the better our breathing as it expands our capacity to not only bring in more life giving breath, but also intimately supports the letting go within the exhale.

Chanting adds to this the inherent power of certain sounds. Sounding the breath out with ooooommmm has long been practiced to deepen meditative states. And aaaahhhh, the sound that people often make when feeling pleasure or satisfaction, can be used to intentionally generate healing energy in the body.  This sounding out breathing also “turns on” the parasympathetic system in the body which signals the relaxation response, and stimulates the “feel good” chemicals of the endorphin system.

PRACTICE:  With a long slow inhale
 let the air out through the mouth with a
 long sustained sound of aaaaaahhhhhh . . .
Breathe all the way out, until it’s time to inhale
.  Then breathe in through the nose a long slow inhale
 and sound the breath all the way out
 with a long sustained sound of aaaaaahhhhhh . . .Pause for a few moments noticing any feelings or sensations.
Now continue for several more breaths,
 breathing in through the nose, 
filling yourself with energy, and sound out the breath
 with a long, gentle aaaaaahhhhhh . . .

then experiment with a fuller, more powerful aaaaahhhhhhh….changing the texture, sound, and vibration as you feel so moved.

Practice this daily whenever you feel stress or you feel “stuck”.  Breathe into the stress or the frustration and release it with a long slow exhale -  sounding whenever you are able, and experimenting with types of sounds and perhaps movement.  This will become an automatic response to stressful or difficult situations as they happen – and can lead you into a place of ecstatic breath.  Enjoy the moments…birth the breath…    

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