Friday, November 18, 2011
The breath has a way of discovering space, just as the air itself seems to find the smallest crack or most enormous canyon. It has been seeming to me lately that my practice and my teaching are growing from this discovery. Directly. My ability to notice the breath, or be aware of it, has encouraged an internal investigation among all my own cells... and this branches out into everything I do.
So when I take a yoga class, I follow directions, just like my students do in my classes. Yet what I experience is my breath slipping under my shoulder blades, no matter whether the teacher says "lift your breastbone" or "press into your heels" or "reach for the ceiling." In some cases there are other sensations, the pulling and twisting, the pressures, and collapses of interior spaces or bones, or muscles, or ideas. I walk on the sidewalk feeling signals from all the points of the body, full of reactive chatter, and the breath quietly expands beneath my ribs, swinging my pelvis just a little this way, and releases my throat as my pelvis quietly swings just a little that way on the exhale...
I am beginning to understand something.
It starts with noticing.
Expands into observing and alertness around what I notice.
Then I sort and contemplate the rising ideas and reactions, eventually letting them all slip out on the exhale.
And I begin to notice that I am understanding something.
This expands into examination and inquiry into what I notice.
Eventually I release what I think I understand and experience my breath quietly slipping between the hairs in my nostrils.
When I can no longer enable my breath to investigate and expand my awareness, I believe I'll be ready to leave this body and try something else.
And so, as usual, I bow to that which sustains me. Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.