Let’s talk about breathing. Seems like a no-brainer, right? We are alive, we must be doing it. And this is fine, if you want to stop there. But you don’t. Because that’s surface, and you’re up to something bigger … we all are … even if we don’t know it.
But the key is TO know. To become aware. Only then can we be empowered to create. It all starts by inhabiting the breath.
The breath is here to support us. The breath is helping us make critical connections between our body and mind at every moment … day and night … at work and at home … on the mat, our training ground, and off the mat, where $#*! gets real.
#truth … Fast breathing stimulates the sympathetic response in our nervous system; this is when we’re clenched and cloudy. Slow breathing stimulates the parasympathetic response; this is when we’re calm and clear.
Which feeling to you prefer? Which feeling do you have most often? How are you going to return to your natural rhythm? You’re going to choose. To be. Quiet and still.
It starts by investigating the inflow and outflow of breath, the qualities of each and the space that lingers between the two … all of it inviting us to, very simply, enter a moment. Inside each of these moments awaits opportunity to acknowledge what is.
The ultimate goal of yoga is to always observe things accurately, and therefore never act in a way that will make us regret our actions later. — T.K.V. Desikachar
Consider how often you pause in a day to really experience breath – the most vital access to prana. Now divide that into the number of cycles a human being actually takes in any 24-hour period … it’s 15 to 20 each minute, or over 20,000 daily, according to the American Lung Association.
From this starting point, get clear on some concepts. They’re either going to light you up with possibility or piss you off entirely.
#truth … You are the only person who has the capacity to control your own breath. The breath is really the only thing you can control.
Let’s accept we live in a world of people and situations that will entice us to lose our awareness and therefore our breath … our breath and therefore our awareness … clearly and inextricably linked.
We’re human, and therefore imperfect … among other humans, just as imperfect. Big surprise, right? But how often we forget it and seek something besides, which is inherently wrought with judgement, control and attachment.
Finding pause in your moments allows for clarity to perceive each one as whole and complete – just like you! But losing the breath takes you away from feeling ease and launches you into identifying with circumstances.
Rather than allowing our response to an event affect our breathing, we can learn instead to let our breathing change our relationship to the event. — Cyndi Lee
These split-second acts, usually unconscious, leave us in an emotional ether of made-up stories – that we actually believe. This is disempowering and a barrier to being the best version of self.
#truth … You will lose our perspective, generally due to ego, hatred, refusal or fear. You can choose light over darkness.
So now we see the external world beguiles us. We time travel forward in worry and backward in regret. We dance the side step with expectations and boundaries broached or sought. But we always have the breath … a spiritual home to which to return.
This is not to say making such shifts to harness our personal power is easy. But the more we do it, the more we will do it. We can practice on our yoga mats just as we can practice on a walk in the woods just as we can practice sitting at our desks as work.
You may not reach fluid, seamless breathing or experience an undisturbed state of mind all the time … although there is always the option to build a tiny house-for-one atop a mountain far from it all … but let’s entertain that idea another day.
#truth … The point is to arrive, committed and practice. When you least expect it, possibilities begin to unfold.
Through these focused slices of stillness, you will feel more energy … you will know more creativity … you will experience greater compassion … you will be at ease with yourself … and you will see your role in the bigger picture.
When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world. — B.K.S. Iyengar