You know those moments where you are suddenly gifted the words to articulate a thought or feeling you’ve had for a while? I had one of those moments whilst teaching a class recently. Towards the end of class for a corporate client I took my seat with the group, focusing the energy towards healing breath during Baddha Konasana. Suddenly the words journeyed from my spirit outward into space. After class I journalled to recall what I’d said, as best I could.
Here are some thoughts on the power of yoga and the practice of presence:
In day-to-day life most of our attention resides with our thoughts. For some, we may believe that is who we are. At any given moment, we are very aware of what we are thinking, judgments we are passing, and tend to reminisce or project ourselves away from the present moment. As we are taken away into a land of storytelling there is little awareness with the sensation of breathing.
I believe the reason yoga is so transformative is because we begin to experience a role reversal, so that at any given moment we become more aware of the simple, yet profound, cycle of breathing- constantly drawing in, and letting go. Staying present with this journey we come to notice and appreciate the subtleties of the breath, and the story being told, whilst the chitta vritti takes a back seat. This is not to say that through yoga we lessen the thoughts, or ever cease to have them. Instead, just as before we step onto the mat we have thoughts tuned in and turned up, with our breath quietly working in the background, now our breath gets to step up and take centre stage, while the busy body chatter of our mind is sidelined.
Breath is our ultimate super power and the absolute giver. Where there is breath, there is life, so when we deepen our breath we literally invite more life within. With our breath we can explore ourselves from the inside out. This has been a profound lesson for me, and for many students too. If you are seeking emotional or physical space, begin with the breath. So often we look outside ourselves for the answers, yet everything we need is within. Simplicity is freeing…Check in with yourself, not your external appearance, but your internal makeup. What can you sense, rather than see? Make that connection between the quality of your breath and the content in your mind so that whenever you feel overwhelmed, over worked, like you are about to blow, like you just…need…some…space…simplify back to the breath and find freedom and space once again.
Create room for life, in your life.