By Jody Edgar
Posted in Africa Yoga Project Blog, on January 28, 2014
Breathing is the procedure that pulls air in and pushes air out of the respiratory system or oxygen through other respiratory organs like gills. Yogis are human beings and hence they don’t have gills, so then I have got no business discussing gills in this context. Breathing is to draw air in and expel from the lungs, to suck in oxygen and expel co2 through natural processes, to breath in and out freely, to pause and rest before continuing, to blow softly, to breathe new life into the movement and/ or to give rest from exertion.
As yogis, breathe is what fundamentally establishes the link between us as a people; it is the foundation under which all is built, like an army base where all troupes have a convergence zone,a central point of operation; it is like the root of a giant oak tree. Invisible as it is with a bare eye, it is effective enough to beat the heaviest and or deadliest animal into submission. Monicah was sharing with us the other day during the art of living workshop at the Shine center that breath is the first act we do when are born, then we cry and the rest of the people laugh and celebrate. It is the last act we do when we die then everybody else cries!
My teacher Baron Baptiste says breathe is pure, raw energy that sweeps through you like a cleansing wind. It carries Prana, or life force, to every micro part of your being. With every exhalation you literally bring new life into your body, with every exhalation you clean house. The same thing the city council is supposed to be doing on the streets except that they mostly do not maintain the integrity of the act!
He goes ahead and pinpoints out that, through matching and mirroring your movements with your breath; you peel away the layers of resistance. Breathe is what sustains you at your edge and allows you to move past it into new mental, emotional, and physical frontiers. In this way you are meeting inner resistance with a neutralizing force. If you can stay calm and breathe through your pose, that layer of resistance dissolves away.
If you feel weighed down or anxious, breathe. It will make calm your nerves and tension disappears.
If you are concerned about an arising circumstance, or stuck in some past situation, breathe. It will connect you to the present and land you in the now!
If you are too fast in movement, breathe. It makes a good reminder for you to ease down, and be conscious of the life around you more.
Breathe, and have fun in each and every moment of this life. They’re too short lived and few to squander.
Yoga teaches us to be aware of our own breathe and therefore remain in touch and relevant to the present moment while being in appreciation because that is where life is; now, in the present moment.