Obviously, air is one of the sources of life itself. Elementally, it is the driving force of our intellect and and as the swords suite in the Tarot so often shows us, the shadow of that intellect as well. Personally, I am aware of this and it’s a constant battle for me to keep analysis in check and balance it with both the less rigid side of the Air element as well as the rest of the elements. That dual edge sword is a precious thing and we have to ride both sides of it. Given our current situation where any trouble breathing is either a symptom or a very scary thing, it is an act of bravery to breathe deeply and consciously.
When I mediate, I always start with pranayama or air/breathe-work. No matter what mediation technique I decide to employ, that breathe work always seems so critical to me and is ironically the most grounding part of my meditation practice. It keeps my mind focused and aware without judgment. It keeps my boy relaxed and present and I feel energized but calm as a result. Since I spent so much of my life swimming in the air element it is perhaps the best way to bring myself back down to earth by accessing that power of air with all its empowering qualities intact while bypassing its judgmental qualities. When I meditate, its as if Air and Earth switch places and air supports me as I reach for the ground. I rise above my ideas and analytic games toward that which is true and present whether I can see it and express it or not.
Kabbalistically, when I do pranayama I trade and mix Assiyah and B’riah which unsettles the ground under me and air around me to both better move into Yetzirah and Azilut or receive what I need to learn from those worlds more easily.
Beyond all that, pranayama makes my mediation deeper and makes me more grounded. It is a key to go deeper, and I appreciate that immensely.