Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yoga-Just breathe

"You're still not breathing." It wasn't a question. It wasn't said out of frustration. It was a completely zen statement that forced me to swallow my snarky comment, "What are you talking about? Of COURSE I'm breathing."

It was my 2nd yoga session with a private teacher. Private because I don't pay attention in class. Guilty! Private because I need someone to help me figure out what's going on. Private because I need someone to notice when I don't show up and call me out on it. Her comment during our first session, "You're waaaaaaaaay off balance," may not have made her a psychic in my mind, but it did make me believe she understood.

This isn't like sit still and say "ommmmmm" til all your troubles disappear yoga (although nothing wrong with that). This is more twist like a pretzel, remember to breathe, and oh, tell me what your greatest fear is yoga. I'm not gonna lie. I like to ask the questions. And the answer to that question is a post for another day.

"You're not breathing." Literally thought to myself, "Is there an echo in here? I swear I JUST heard that!" At this point I'm too busy keeping my right foot planted, my left shoulder down, my back straight and not fall over to fight. "Fine. I'm not breathing."

"Okay, good. Now we can get started."

I almost choked on my newly found peace....NOW we can get started? I've been upside down for 20 minutes, but fine, now we'll get started. I know, I'm the queen of willing obedience-no need to mention it.

We spent the next 10 minutes breathing. Not like fancy yoga breathing either-like breathe in, breathe out. Elementary.........except it wasn't. 4 minutes in I had to admit-I hadn't been breathing. I had been gasping for air in a panicked rhythm of hurry - it matched my frantic lifestyle. Who has time to breathe all the way in and all the way out? How not efficient.

I felt my cells recovering. I felt my mind slowing down to a manageable speed. I felt my body suddenly much more willing to cooperate. And I felt strangely peaceful. Yes, from the stretching and the poses, but maybe more so from the simple act of breathing.


Meredith Gould said...

Welcome to the deep practice of yoga. Just wait and see what happens when you take it OFF the mat!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful advice! I think that I'll try to remember to breathe today, thanks Brenda.