At the moment I’m reading – extra slowly –Light on Life by B.K.S Iyengar.  Rush through this book and you’ll miss wonderful pieces of wisdom from the yoga legend Mr Iyengar (born 1918).  He shares many ways (yoga philosophy based) for us all to strengthen our emotional well-being, physical stability and  mental clarity.  Of course it includes regular yoga and mindful breathing to calm our mind and strengthen the nervous system. All with the aim of encouraging us all to flow through the ups and downs of life with minimal residual stress and upset.

Or as Mr Iyengar so eloquently writes.

When life’s little upsets happen, we take them in our stride, deal with them – and then them put down.   We are in balance, so changes, disturbances, and events in our daily life do not throw us off balance.   We’re sensitive to them, we’re flexible, we survive without trauma”.

As I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this book thought I would share a few insights that are connected with my passions of breathing, relaxation and being in balance.

The “echo” exhalation was a piece of wisdom that really resonated with me, not only because of the funky name (you’ve got to admit its cool)  but because he’s right.  There always is residual air in the bottom of our lungs – even after we have exhaled.  Enjoy.

6 great quotes and wisdsoms from B.K.S. Iyengar:

One: Try an “echo” exhalation.  Exhale slowly and fully.  Pause.  Then exhale again. There is always a slight residue left in the lungs.  In that residue is to be found the sludge of toxic memory and ego.  Exhale further, let them go and experience and even deeper state of peace.

Two: If your liver is sluggish with toxins your brain will be impaired because the liver is not filtering the blood.  Your nervous system will be slow to react to danger and disproportionate to the degrees of stress you register.

My thoughts:  Detox the liver to think more clearly and feel less stressed.

Three: You have to tame your breath to tame your brain.  Begin with observing the movements of normal breathing and letting them become quiet and soft in such a way there is no load on the cells in the brain.    To accomplish this you have to release the diaphragm.  The diaphragm is the medium between the physiological and mental sheaths and in consequence tightens as it records stress and tensions that occur in daily life.

My thoughts:  Soften your belly to relax your diaphragm – to quieten the brain.

Four: Everyone desires more life energy.  If energy could be packaged and sold in a shop, it would be the most successful business ever.  Merely talking about energy excites and energizes people.  Where can we get it, people want to know.  Well, not in packets and not in shops because it is, first, everywhere and, second, free of charge.  Energy or prana in the form of breath, is the starting point.

My thoughts:   Invite more energy into your body right now – with your next inhale.  Pranayama is also a great place to start with alternate nostril breathing or by paying more attention to the quality of your breath for at least one minute every hour.

Five: Focus on relaxing not clenching.  Learn how to relax your tongue and throat and you know how to relax your brain.   There is a connection between the tongue, throat and brain.

My thoughts -Start by un-clenching your jaw, tongue, teeth, shoulders, neck, stomach and buttocks.

Wisdom six: If we look with tension in our eyes it means our nerves are already exhausted which causes us to lose energy.

My thoughts:  Soften and relax the muscles behind the eyes.  Give your eyes something pleasant to look at other than computer screens, TV and your mobile phone.