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Week 2: Learning how to breath

My 2nd week of yoga teacher training in India is complete. It's hard to believe that we are already half way through the course. In a short time I've noticed myself getting both mentally and physically stronger. I am learning more about my body and self awareness. My posture has improved and I am learning for the first time how to breath correctly and attentively. Breathing may not seem like something that one should have to learn. Though after 2 weeks of pranayama classes I truly feel like I am actually breathing correctly for the first time in my life. I notice my breath going inside as I inhale. My spine and stomach expand up and out. Then as I exhale my spine and stomach contract and my breath releases completing the cylcle of inhalation and exhalation and returning the breath that the world gave me back into the world. Learning to pay attention to and control my breathing has allowed me to gain clarity and put my mind at ease. I have learned several mantras. A mantra is meant to free the mind from uneccesary thoughts. Mantra is a sanskrit word where, man= mind and tra= to set free. During mantra repetition you train the mind with awareness and breath. Out of all of the mantras that Ive learned my favorites is The Self Realization mantra. Self Realization Mantra Om Asto Ma Sadgamaya; Tamso Ma jyotirgamaya; Mratyorma amritamgamaya. Om shantih shantih shantih. This mantra is short but it is packed with meaning. In a nutshell this Mantra is an invocation to the universe to lead you from untruth to truth, from darkness(ignorance) to light(knowledge), and from mortality to immortality so that you no longer fear death but realize that you are more then just your body.