Sunday Night’s Yoga (8/29/10)
I don’t know how it happened, but somehow, I found myself with free time on Sunday night. It was delightful, the unexpected release from do-this, do-that, don’t-forget-about-blah-blah-blah. I’m never a slave to my to-do list, and nothing is as much fun as procrastinating (oh, the guilt! oh, the rush of getting things done at the last minute!), but there is a sweetness to having all your ducks in a row. That was my Sunday evening—everything prepped and ready to go for the big week ahead. I’m taking a deep breath right now, just thinking about what a big week it is. Sometimes all the pieces just come together, and it feels almost like magic.
But I don’t mean to digress about work here. Instead, let’s talk yoga! On Sunday night, I did a round of Lunar Flow. As I was flowing, the instructor asked us (me) to notice where we feel resistance, and immediately she asks us if it’s the breath. Do we resist the slow, rhythmic breathing that is such an essential part of yoga? For me, the answer is yes. In everyday life, I have the unfortunate habit of breathing very shallowly or even holding my breath if I’m nervous or scared. By not taking deep breaths, I amplify my anxiety to unbearable levels, at which point I think my stress level just might kill me on the spot. For a few years now, I’ve been trying to take deep breaths whenever I think about my breathing, as a gentle reminder that in everyday life, it’s best to be relaxed.
It’s a little amazing to me that even in a setting like yoga where I am reminded to breathe over and over again, I still find it hard to let my breathing slow down and deepen. This observation convinces me that I’m on the right track with the gentle reminders to myself that deep breaths are good, and I deserve to feel good.
Lunar Flow was wonderful; I felt so relaxed and refreshed by the end of the class. I can’t think of a better way to start of the week.