One thing I have been noticing in my personal practice lately is that I’m having more difficulty staying constant with my breath…I’m finding myself getting caught up in the instructor’s words or in my own mind’s mutterings, and then all of a sudden I’ll check myself and bring it all back to the breath, trying to fall back into the steady rhythm I had started the practice with.
I know I’ve said it before, but humour me…it’s all about the breath. Without a long, even, steady, nourishing breath, the practice becomes a test in endurance, seeing if the body will carry us through the series of postures and sequences without giving up…and with an unsteady, erratic breathing pattern, giving up is inevitable. The body cannot function on a breath that doesn’t serve it, so this week I’m asking my students to try to tune me out. I’ll keep my instructions to a minimum, but will constantly direct everyone back to the breath.
Regardless of whether or not you’re practicing asana, I’m putting it out there for everyone – this is a call to life, to the breath, back to ourselves. Wherever you find yourselves this week, today, this minute, this second…breathe…deeply…allow the entire capacity of your lungs and your thoracic cavity to inflate and expand, and then exhale until the body’s reflex to inhale kicks in. Do it again. And again.
Don’t underestimate how important the breath is to everything we do…the majority of us breath shallowly, increasing our fatigue, allowing for stress and exterior factors to lodge themselves in our body to create a physical response that tenses up our muscles, tendons and connective tissue. Let is all go…release it…all it takes is a good, deep breath. Keep reminding yourselves to come back to this breath…see if it makes a difference…I strongly suspect it will…