Saturday, April 07, 2012

on the mat | just breathe

Breathing is sometimes not as easy as it seems. The other day in practice, my teacher attempted to help me do what, to me, is the impossible: grab my ankles during backbends. The thought of it freaks me out, even though I admire the practitioners who can and wistfully wish I could as well. On the first try I just started gasping for air and had to come up. We talked: he reminded me that he would not let me hurt myself. He also reminded me that he would not put my body in a position that it wasn't ready for. Finally he reminded me, no matter what happened, to remember to BREATHE.

This sounds simple enough but slowing down your breath when you are placed in a physically uncomfortable position is quite challenging, whether you are doing a yoga pose or running a marathon. Theoretically, every breath you take in your yoga practice should be about the same, whether you are doing a sun salutation or grabbing your ankles while backbending. The key is figuring out how to control that breath when you are taxing yourself.

I suppose this is where the moving meditation part of yoga comes into play - all you are concentrating on is what you are doing in THAT moment and nothing else.


Needless to say, my mental state won over my physical state that day and I was unable to do the pose, but I am thinking one day I may. I need to just get over myself and do it. And breathe as well. Still have a long way to go, but I am ok with that too. Namaste.

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