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Archive for March, 2011

“Get to know your breath and you will never be alone.” Even though these words were spoken to me 40 years ago, they are etched into my psyche as encouragement from my teacher to practice daily yogic breathing. I did practice (sometimes) but was too young to give this awareness a great deal of thought.
My journey has taken many twists (ha ha yoga joke) and turns. Maybe now I am ready to hear these words from a more thoughtful place…
In last night’s yoga therapy reading, I found a passage from Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease. (Heart disease is rampant amongst us as young as 50!) We know the usual villains; a diet high in “bad” fats and not enough exercise. But there appears to be an underlying cause which, if not addressed, does not allow for true healing.
What is this deeper cause?
Loneliness and stress from isolation and lack of intimacy.
Dr. Dean goes onto describe two types of loneliness – vertical and horizontal. Vertical being a lack of connection to the Self (Nurturing Source, Higher Power). Horizontal, a lack of meaningful intimacy and connection to one another.
I put the book down to take a breathing break so I will not know until tonight what the good doctor says next, but here’s what I say.
We can be in marriages, in families, in communities, clubs etc but unless we are nurturing a connection to the Self within, we may still feel lonely inside and often try and cover it up in a number of ways.
Dis-ease can be our wake-up call.
I love yoga’s preventative approach to healing and transformation.
Get to know your breath! Ah, the breath, our one constant companion. Breath is the link between the mind and the body, but what about the spirit, that all pervading essence of Being? That too!
To quote one of my favorite teachers, Mark Whitwell, conscious breathing is our direct participation with Nurturing Source.
Hummm……
Why not take a breathing break right now?

Feel the texture of your breath coming in through your nose and softening down through the back of your throat. Imagine your body filled with life force energy. Follow your exhale until it is but a whisper. Be present… enjoy….. stillness…..

She (my first teacher) did say daily practice. Yes, breath and yoga, daily practices. Good thing about breathing, it is very portable!
I am spending more time on the importance of breath in my own practice and in my classes.
Won’t you join me??
Namaste,
Alison

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