The word “spirituality” is a term coined at a broader approach to connecting to something greater than us. Spirituality does not have a specific definition or deity but conveys the message of fulfilling our spirit, often with universal energy.
Often people hear the world “spirit” or “spirituality” and “freak out” over the term or anything that has to do with spirit. Many shun yoga as it’s a “spiritual exercise" that originated from India, and label it negatively because of India’s Hindu-dominated culture. Many of these perceptions and thoughts are flawed opinions about the spirit.
Spirit originates from the Latin word “spiritus” or “breath.” By definition, “it is a force or principle that animates living organisms.” In simple terms, the breath is our life force that provides energy and healing to the body. Without the breath, the human body can only survive seconds or minutes without air.
In Greek mythology, the term pneuma translates to “air in motion, breath and wind.” In yoga, the word prana means “breath” which is life force energy. In ancient China, the term “qi” is “life force or energy flow.” In essence, the spirit, known as the soul, is found in many texts of life from the Vedas to the Bible. The purpose of these tales and discoveries to show that everyone is on their own path and there is more than one way to enhance the spirit.
But it seems that only in modern times do we shun or shy away from the term “spirit.” Why? This mainly has to do with disrupting the ego and any organized religion that we associate with. We forget that our breath is our spirit, and when we connect to our breath we are simply energizing our spirit. Simply, we should not fear the spirit because it is what keeps us “alive.” When you encounter a stressful situation you may notice that your breath becomes short, shallow and light. This “chain reaction” stimulates “fight or flight” and long-term one disconnects from their soul. Another interesting observation is during post-crying when the body tries to calm down you may find yourself unconsciously taking a few deep breaths.
Many ancient techniques may be too out of the box for some people, which is okay as we all need to find a method that works best for us. But, simply sitting in a quiet room, taking deep breaths and focusing on the present moment is not weird nor does it conflict to any religious connections.
Many who are coined “spiritual” find a connection to their inner-world and the universe through nature, yoga, meditation or energy healing techniques such as Reiki. In fact, humanity is progressing toward these practices as people begin to awake consciously. History does repeat itself, and the ancient yogis, Egyptians and Greeks were smart people. They were highly connected to the source without distractions such as internet, video games and text messages.
If you’ve ever found yourself in awe while hiking a mountain or breathless staring at the ocean’s beauty, those are pivotal soul-enhancing moments. And there is nothing odd about those behaviors. As an “energetic” person, every time I leave the ocean I tear as it feels like I’m being torn from my true home. Why? One simple reason is that I am in the moment, happy and rejuvenated.
So yes, you can tie your legs into a knot and bend your body like a pretzel to be spiritual, but it does not have to be that way. And in the name of the spirit, remember to take several deep breaths at times of chaos.
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com