Wednesday, November 21, 2012

keep breathing

Greetings Friends, I'm happy to share this delish guest post brought to you by our fave Canadian, Misty Pittman. Enjoy....
Right now, notice your breath.

Can you feel it? That shift that happens, simply by bringing your awareness to the breath.
I never fully understood what the big deal was. Why yoga teachers are always gushing over the benefits of our breath and reminding us to breathe. But recently I’ve been craving breathing time. Focusing on how it feels, where it travels to, the softening that it invites into my being.
It’s quite delish.
So what does this mean for your yoga practice and why should you make it the most important aspect of your practice? Because it elevates your time on the mat to something that is meaningful and mindful and extraordinary. By turning your attention to your inhales and exhales, the mind quiets and an opportunity for stillness opens up. It’s in that stillness where magic happens. It's in that stillness where we find beauty.

So we start our practice with this moment of stillness, centering our minds and spirits, letting go of the monkey mind. As we start to move, our breath serves us in another way. We flow with its rhythm, letting it guide us rather than letting our movements guide it. Perhaps we invite a little Ujjayi, to build heat and keep us connected. We pause in warrior, legs shaking, arms trembling, and our breath helps us find our edge. In a seated forward fold, the hamstrings are hanging on for dear life. Guide the inhale there and feel the muscles soften and release on the exhale.
These days I’ve been connecting a lot more to my breath off the mat. I start the day with it and my stiff body feels connected to something bigger. I watch the rain and feel the rise and fall of my belly. I step into a breeze on a sunny day and we flow as one. It tempers my temper and it swells with my joy.
I get it.
Try it. Get comfortable for a moment and let your hands settle somewhere on your body. Gently close your eyes. Notice how the breath feels as it passes through the nostrils. Notice if it is shaky or even. Is there evenness or unevenness? Don’t change a thing, just notice. Feel the delicate flow of your body with each inhale and exhale. Notice how, just by the simple act of paying attention, your breath slowly starts to deepen and even out. 
Can you feel the magic?

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