I love the “reset” effect that vacation often offers. It’s like taking a little time off just to enjoy yourself and focus on your closest loved ones opens up a window to see your life with a fresh perspective. I’m just back from a busier-style family vacation. This vacation emphasized the need and value of making things a little more simple for this moment in my life. In my yoga practice and classes, I’ve been focusing on the simple but powerful practice of connecting fully to the soothing rhythm of the breath.
In the middle of the ebb and flow of life there is a clear, calm, steady place that is nourishing and invigorating. By focusing on the flow of the inhalation to the exhalation and the exhalation to the inhalation we can create a calming effect on our mind and nervous system. In every way life ebbs and flows. It’s natural for their to peaks and valleys. This up and down or ebb and flow is exactly what keeps life energy moving and evolving. In yoga it’s often called, “spanda” or “pulsation.”
If we are looking for a little more inspiration for our breath or movement practices, we might yoke* a mantra to our breath practice. For me it’s been this:Breathing in, “I take life in as it is, I’m grateful for what’s here (even if it’s challenging.)” Pausing, “I savour the gift of this moment. I receive this life “prana” (life-force energy). I make this life my own.” Exhaling, “I give this life energy back freely. I offer the light of my heart and my soul. May I give back in a way that leaves me with contentment in my life and may it also be of value to the world around me.”
In this way, I feel myself: my body, mind, and heart, feeling more clear; and more free.
*”yoke” - the way you would yoke (or join) a bull to a cart is one of the first definitions/translations of the word yoga