Today as I walked down to Moksha Yoga, there were overcast clouds, a nice breeze and my thoughts. As I continued to walk to my first class, I felt like setting an intention, I would focus on my breath and no matter what happened, I would rest in the breath.
Some back history on my yoga experience, I found yoga in 1999 after I went to the doctor, that year the doctor explained I had high blood pressure and a couple of other things as well. He wanted to put me on drugs. I understood the intention of the doctor, but in no way was I going to take drugs, I thought there had to be another way. But I didn’t have another way, but I let the doctor know that I would be back in 6 months and if when I came back nothing changed, I wold consider drugs.
A week later I decided to enter a yoga studio, change my diet, and also added Runyon Canyon for hiking. After two months of unlimited yoga, diet change, and hiking, I noticed a vast difference in my health and most importantly my mind. I went to the doctor and guess what, everything was normal. The doctor was shocked, he asked what I did, I said I cut out all red meat, fast food, added more fruit and vegetables, hiked, and incorporated yoga and meditation as well. From then on my diet changed to a vegetarian diet, hiking, yoga, meditation, and prayer work.
During my divorce my diet changed, my body was craving meat again, I removed yoga, because it seemed my body craved more physical work, hike running and hiking. I still meditated. About a couple of months ago I did some forgiveness work and that is when all the cravings stopped. No more running, some hiking, but what was amazing was this sense of now. Living and breathing. It was here that I started hearing my breath, contemplating my breath, and allowing the breath. No longer identifying with my mind, and when I did get caught up in my mind I would go to the breath, and so now my life is about “hearing the breath”, when I hear my breath, really hear it, it reminds me of the ocean tide, it is beautiful.
I bring this up because in my first day of class today at Moksha, Joe our teacher brought up the importance of community and breathing; to me community is to commune with. In my practice today I spent time communing with my breath. Now don’t misunderstand me, my practice was wobbly, tight, with a couple of moments of full expression through my limbs from the heart. But the breath was carrying me through each pose, no matter what. How I respond on my mat is how I respond in my life.
During my practice today a passage kept creeping in, “God is closer than your breath” and then what occurred to me was that the breath is who I am, or “Breath I am”. A couple of times I caught my self reflecting from the vantage point of the breath; breath means spiritus or ruah, it is where we get the word inspiration, or in breath. As we breath in life, and let it go, the inhale is “let” and the exhale is “go”. The breath naturally moves with the flow of life without holding on. So by contemplating my breath in the practice, I was able to live in the body, and allow.
Joe our teacher mentioned freedom several times and our choice in it. I like that. I like that I have a chose in freedom, and that I can wrestling with myself in my mat in safety. Life is gentle, kind, and compassionate on my mat. Well on to day 2 tomorrow….