Breath is Life in Hawaiian Spirituality

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Breath was important to the ancient Hawaiian spiritual leaders. They believed that, with your breath, you brought in positive energy and expelled negative energy. It was such a large part of their lives that the Hawaiian word for breath, “Ha”, begins the island’s name. Here is how you can make use of a powerful breathing technique to empower yourself and get rid of anxiety.

Mana, An Energy Source

Mana is an important energy source for intention, healing and spirituality in the Hawaiian culture. It is available to you any time you need it. It is also the energy that links your three-selves, the conscious, unconscious and spiritual body, in harmony. The three-selves is the basis through which the Hawaiian’s understood and explained all human behaviors.

Mana is accessible to you through a technique called Ha Breathing. You can use Ha Breathing to bring energy into your body to relieve stress, relax, or to “fuel up” and get ready for an important project.

Practicing Ha Breathing

A good way to begin integrating Ha Breathing into your life is right after you wake up and get out of bed. It will refresh you and give you the energy you need to start your day.

  1. Stand comfortably with your weight equally on both legs, and with arms relaxed at your sides.
  2. Hold the thought in your mind that “My three-selves and my physical body are ready to receive this morning’s dose of mana.”
  3. Take a deep breath through your nose and bring it way down into your stomach. This may take some practice as we lose the habit of stomach breathing early in life in favor of shallow breathing that stops at the chest.
  4. With a deep breath in your stomach, lift your head slightly and exhale out through your mouth while making the “Ha” sound. The sound does not come from your vocal cords but from the air leaving your body as you force it out of your stomach.
  5. Repeat two more times for a total of three Ha breaths.
  6. Stand quietly and feel the mana as it flows through your body.
  7. If you feel like you need an extra dose, repeat for three breaths, but don’t overdo it or you’ll become light headed.

The Ha Breathing exercise pulls mana in from the world around you, concentrates it in the center of your body, and forces old energy out when you exhale.

Everyday Use

Once you’re comfortable with Ha Breathing in the morning when you first wake up, try it in these situations when you feel your anxiety level rising:

  • You’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic and late for work.
  • Your kids have been screaming non-stop and you’re just about ready to yell at them.
  • You’re waiting to meet the interviewer for a job that you really want.

You will find that Ha Breathing calms you down, yet energizes you in a powerful way. This simple tool only takes a minute to use, but can change the way your day unfolds. It connects you with the natural energy that occurs in the Universe, mana, in much the same way that it connected the ancient Hawaiian spiritual leaders to the energies surrounding their islands.

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