A funny thing happened to me on the way to my Breath. Time kept creeping up on me one afternoon when I was planning to do yoga. Thinking about whether or not to eat and checking out my emails kept getting in the way of getting to my practice. Knowing that if I didn’t “just do it” I would miss out on my own time to partake in what it is I ask others to experience. I heard one of my teacher’s voices say in my head, “if you don’t practice every day and you are teaching, then you are a thief.”
Practice is hard when there’s anything around to distract me (which is just about everything). So I took my mat out of hiding, set it up, and there I was with my breath and another amazing yoga revelation! I am always astonished by how I’m transported by the first focused inhalation: I am where I am at that moment and nowhere else. Soon I started to move into my practice. My mind, balancing on the wave of my inhalation and exhalation, watched, cleared, refined, and listened to the asana that I embodied.
Eckhart Tolle tells a story about observing ducks in a lake fighting, all ruffled up, over territory. After a fight they turn away, flap their wings a few times, and return back to their flock leaving behind any hint of the fight: Instead of accumulating more and more layers of anger they leave it behind and move on.
I think of Yoga that way. A return to breath, leaving behind negativity and letting go of the accumulated dust and debris of attitudes that manifest within the physical body. The next time you realize that you are in the midst of cloud of anger, take note of your breathing. Find your way back to your breath and notice you are able to rise out of that dust cloud and find your smile again.
Take a pose that feels most familiar to you and one which comes easily. Let this posture be a position where you can breathe and explore your breath within the space of the posture. Watch how your mind, mood, and focus shifts from attitudes of strain, to a peaceful calm state of being in the present moment.
This will be your greatest reminder why you do Yoga.