In the Inkan and Andean Ancestral tradition I was raised in, we were taught a form of breathing, a ritualized breathing practice called Samay in Quecha, the original language of the Inkas and the Apus, the mountain spirits. Samay means to be at rest, to be calm, to be tranquil, to be content and peaceful.
It is a practice to soothe the physical body, including all of the internal organs, by consciously breathing in pure energy to calm the mind, the heart, the lungs and the body. It is a method of deeper sacred breathing that can alter our energy by calming and pacifying the energies of the body, by quieting the conscience and spirit of being. This can be achieved by practicing breathing in a healthy, suitable space and time.
Samay, the sacred practice of breathing, maintains and creates natural balance and order in our being through breathing. Samay is the carrier of the vital life energy through our breath. When Samay is connected, between our body and the space we are in, it can channel and communicate vital and conscious energy. Each of our breaths can attract healing and pure energies or damaging and harmful energies.
The source or origin of the energies external to our bodies are transported by the wind in time and space. This is why it is necessary to become aware and attentive to the space we are practicing in and ask ourselves the following questions:
• Where do you spend most of your time breathing?
• When and how are you practicing breathing?
• What substances and compounds are you absorbing or releasing in each breath?
• At what times are you consciously practicing breathing?
One of the Samay practices, called Sami Samay, is a practice that requires your physical body to be in a place of nature, a sacred space where pure, conscious and fine energy flows — preferably a place in Mother Nature where plants, wildlife or water are in abundance and not contaminated. If you are practicing at home or near your home, look for a space where there are plants, flowers, earth and water, a place you can have a sacred fire or burn some incense.
Take a moment to center and ground yourself. Feel and perceive the type of air that flows in the space where you are located. Be aware and receptive to the scents and aromas that emanate from this space. Be observant and attentive to how you feel in this space. If necessary, you can light a fire or incense to clear and clean the space. This is important, because the energy that you will manifest is the same energy of the space you are practicing in.
When you are settled in this pure and clear space, move your body in reverent position and ask permission from Wayra Mama (feminine wind spirit) and Wayra Tayta (masculine wind spirit). Ask permission through an invocation with the intention of awakening and activating the pure essence of the Samay and the air that navigates in those spaces. We are asking permission of the air and all of its compounds and substances, because they are all conscious and alive. They will move and act according to your level of consciousness, your level of connection and respect you have for all the sacred elements.
Once you perceive and feel that the Samay and the air have heard your request, sit or stand in the direction of the wind, a tree or a sacred mountain. Begin by breathing slowly, softly and deeply. Little by little, increase your speed, depth and strength of each breath. When you exhale and inhale, produce or imitate sounds like the wind when you are running.
Be conscious and aware that breathing through the nose is masculine and breathing through the mouth is feminine. Practice breathing both ways. Both breaths create and activate the dual cosmic energy known as Yanantin, which is transmitted to all corners of your body and your sacred being.
As you practice this sacred breathing, let Wayra Mama (feminine wind spirit) and Wayra Tayta (masculine wind spirit) guide, channel and purify every essence and substance in your being.
T’ito Q’osñipa Kuntur will be offering and sharing Inkan Ancestral Wisdom through introductory talks and workshops in Minnesota and Wisconsin September 12-23. Visit Tcayllu.wixsite.com/tcayllu or email [email protected] for more information.