Beautiful lessons from today’s yoga. Calming lessons. Mindfulness Lessons. Lessons that go far beyond poses and yoga. Lessons I will do well to apply to everyday life.
Breathing through your nose…this slows down your breath allowing the lungs more time to extract more oxygen from the breath and releases carbon dioxide at a slower rate. This is important because if the brain thinks carbon dioxide is being released too fast, it sends the message to produce mucus. Colds, allergies, inflammation. The instructor reminded us that when a pose is particularly difficult or strenuous and you think you can’t hold on, be sure you are breathing through the nose only. Nasal breathing gives you strength. I tested this theory and she was right. Every pose, pose by pose I felt stronger and relaxed-like it was no big deal to hold by leg over my head in bow pose in a 105 degree room. This seems to work outside the studio as well. In a stressful moment or unexpected situation…return to the nose.
The second lesson I took from today’s class was to “do every pose as if you have never done it before.” Now I’ve done these poses hundreds of times. The instructor suggested listening to each instruction as if for the first time. It was amazing how I noticed parts of my body I hadn’t been paying attention to. A pose may seem like it’s working your shoulders and I found myself aware of my inner thigh. I think this is the absolute definition of mindfulness that can be applied to anything we do-doing the dishes, driving your car, sending an email. Do it as if you have never done it before. Notice everything. How your fingers move, what the keyboard feels like, what is going on in your body, on and on.
I’m reflecting on a beautiful lesson from The Way of Mastery:
The breath signals the presence of Holy Spirit, given me as a bridge to God.
Just breathe and be mindful.
I guess that’s one of the many reasons I love yoga. There is always something I can take off the mat into the day.
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