Eagle Breath

by Beth Haley

Dedicated to Periphas

“Aetos Dios” means “Eagle of Zeus”

As legends go, Aetos Dios was said to be Zeus’s companion on Mount Olympus. Today the eagle is depicted on Greek coins.

One version of the story states that Zeus became jealous of the mortal king Periphas and wanted to destroy him. Apollon intervened, and instead, Zeus turned Periphas into an eagle.

To me, the eagle represents keen vision, and I’d like to think that clearing my airway with some active eagle breaths, helps instill some eagle spirit into my day.

In a space where you have room to extend and raise your arms, stand or sit with a tall spine. Start a long inhale with your belly. As the air fills your belly and moves up into your chest, begin to raise your arms, like wings, until you are reaching gently up over your head at the top of your breath. Feel your arms and spine lengthen as you reach. Hold the inhale for a few beats.

Then exhale slowly, lowering your arms to your sides. Reach your finger tips gently down toward the earth. Feel your ribs lift and widen. Hold your exhale for a few beats.

Repeat this cycle with deep, full breaths for as many repetitions as feels right to your body. I do ten cycles. You’ll find that your arms and breath will synchronize.

This exercise increases my energy and is great to do in the morning to wake up and get moving toward the day ahead.

Aetos Dios

Go at your own pace and always practice in a way that is safe for you.

The story of Zeus is considered a myth, but I love to imagine that myths are factual biographies of the gods copied down by scribes who were there at the time.


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