I started back at work this week teaching yoga. The nice thing is that at the club I have been teaching at for almost 12 years, has us teach verbally without modeling, so I don’t practice with the class. Tomorrow, I get my stitches out. I am excited and yet nervous.
My class theme today was on breathing. Breathe is what yoga is about, so we talk about it, practice it and constantly work on it. I know, I know, your thinking, “but my body breathes automatically for me….” Yes, and that is a very shallow breath. When breathing becomes deeper, longer, and slower, it lowers the heart rate, calms the body (and mind), reduces stress hormones, cleanses the lungs, oxygenates the body more fully…..I could go on and on.
So here is the thought for today:
How do we bring our attention to breathing without controlling it? The breath must be effortless, not forced. Breathing without effort is made more difficult because you are slowing the breath down, pausing at the end of the exhalation and pausing at the top of the inhalation. Just as in life there is so much to do, we are always doing. In yoga, the relationship to breathing is about nondoing in doing, inaction in action. Bringing attention to the breath is the difference between intention and control, follow instead of lead. We learn to ride the breath, and experience the breath- learn to let things happen.
YogaUP: yoga tricks workshop December 2014