We continue to explore the breath - its rhythm, its elasticity - and the way it can invite us into the experience of our true being, as we are in this moment. This week's reading, another gorgeous offering from Danna Faulds, speaks for itself:
One Breath at a Time: Breathe with me in the rhythm of mountain streams, in the hypnotizing cadence of waves breaking on the shore. Breathe in the peace that plays just beneath the surface of the (agitated) mind. Find the breath that expresses your connection to the silence, to abiding forgiveness, to the shining light of spirit in your heart. Your own true breath can release you from the prison of your fears and plumb the depths of your awareness. It all starts here - the choice breathe, relax, and feel; the choice to witness without judgment, and allow the truth of life to be revealed.
Enjoy your explorations!
Take a breath. That's all - just one breath
Then bring attention to your heart and lungs, and allow awareness to open in all directions
Soften your hands
Our reading this week is from the gorgeous heart-mind of Danna Faulds:
It is enough right now to taste one moment of peace. Of course I want more, but at least the door is open. It is enough to draw a conscious breath and let my hands relax, fingers releasing their tight grasp on things outside my control. It is enough to shed a layer of stress as if taking off a jacket or a pair of too-tight shoes. Ease of being has to start somewhere. This breath is my first step.
We've spoken in the past of finding the balance between sthira (steadiness/firmness) and sukkha (ease/release) in our practice. Patanjali offers another pair of relevant opposites: prayatna (judicious effort with just the right amount of tension), balanced with shaithilya (relaxing, unwinding, and attending to the subtlest level of breath in the pose). The tension we are inviting is not the covering of habitual tension layered over our body, but rather the healthy tension of a body alive with breath, elasticity and integrity. And the unwinding is not a mechanical process of forced undoing, but rather a natural unfurling with the breath - like a fern's fronds might unfurl in the spring, moved and motivated by Life itself.
Our reading this week is adapted from American yoga therapist Bija Bennett: Stay with your breath for a moment...eyes open or closed... Give your breath some freedom - sensing what is going on inside you right now; noticing your thoughts; noticing what you are feeling...
Let the flow of your breath lead you to your present state of energy and awareness.
There is nothing you need to do. Just allow awareness to be with your breath...Listen...Notice that everything you are, and have been looking for, is right here.
Misha Butot RCSW, ERYT 500 is a longtime clinical social worker and senior yoga teacher living in Victoria, BC