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Pranayama and the Native American flute - Ami Sarasvati

In Sanskrit, an ancient language of India dating back over 3,500 years, the practice of regulating the breath is called pranayama. In nearly all Yoga styles, pranayama is the central focus of the practice. Breathwork is thousands of years old for a reason. Specific breathing techniques yield a myriad of benefits to the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Regular practice results in more energy, increased awareness, and improved cardiovascular function. 


What does pranayama have to do with the Native American flute? Playing flute is a musical form of pranayama. When we consciously bring Spirit in through the breath and surrender to the moment, the flute becomes the co-creator of our heartsong. In the words of Yogi Bhajan, the Master of Kundalini Yoga, “Your breath is the voice of your soul.” 


As a spiritual practice, breathwork gives us immediate access to inner wisdom which has an intelligence all its own. As a simple practice, we can drop into our heart space as we inhale. Feel the heart’s rhythm. Like waves in the ocean, the breath comes through the body again and again to inspire our playing. Each wave is another glimpse into the mystery. 


As our skill level increases and we can confidently maneuver on the NAF, Spirit rejoices amid the intervals and the breath. The breath gives the emotions a metaphoric hand to hold and a vehicle for release.


Playing the flute is a healing art. Within the practice, a great deal of breath is required. Even playing a few minutes yields a more fully oxygenated state. The player receives profound benefits simply from the required deep breathing. Each sacred breath informs the frequencies released by the flute. These vibrations voiced through the flute played skillfully and from the heart, have the power to heal the player as well as all who listen. 


Trapped emotions in the body can be detrimental to our health. Breathwork can assist us in accessing, processing, and transmuting these emotions. A very simple daily practice with the NAF gives us a way to express our innermost emotions in a peaceful and natural way as well as offering us benefits of the mind, body, and soul that ancient yogis have practiced for thousands of years.

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