The First Breath

Take a deep breath.



Exhale completely and hold the breath out.

In that space between inhalation and exhalation we can exist outside of time.

It is here that can explore the great void, death.

This breathing practice, known as Bahya Kumbhaka or, retention after exhalation, is a way to become familiar with the experience of dying—to balance on the precipice between worlds. It can also serve as a reminder that the decision to breath again is a decision to live again, for without that next breath, we would surely die.

In the vast spaciousness of Bayha Kumbhaka, we can also make the choice to let go of the past and to start again from the present moment.

In our daily life, this can be a useful technique to use, for example, in an argument, when we all too often forget the reason why we starting arguing in the first place. We find ourselves out of control, angry and hurt, riding a wave of emotion that may have started with a minor disagreement. When we find ourself in this predicament we need to stop and take a deep breath, swallow our pride, and resolve to let the past go—to, in effect, let it die. We can then choose to live, and to start over with a clear mind and an open heart.

Every breath is an opportunity to start over.






make the choice

to live.


and breath again.