I am not a fan of planning anything. Gasp! I prefer to go with the flow of the day, as cliché as this might sound. It’s not always the best idea, I have learned that the hard way. Of course, I cannot go into all situations in life without having a plan.
Teaching classes I do have to plan ahead (a little). I have a framework as to how to start, follow through and as to how to end the class. But while watching the students and the energies of the day and of the moment, I get ideas. I spend more or less time as previously planned on poses or sometimes I change things around quite a bit. This is how I view “planning” life as well: have a frame, an idea and fill in the gaps while at it (though sometimes I just drop it all and take a nap;0).
However, one part of my “yoga plan” will always be executed. No exceptions.
Breathing. It’s a must. It’s essential to prepare and hold and deepen your pose, it’s essential to reach union of body, mind, and spirit. You need to be able to breathe. Let the air flow freely, watch out for when it feels forced or even held, which is an indicator to me to back out of the pose, adjust into a simpler version or just pick another one altogether.
Feeling the air entering and exiting my nose, my throat, moving my chest and belly. The breath, an incredibly powerful ally on my path to presence.
Use it. Listen to it. Feel it. Each class I teach, starts with great focus on breath. I spend many minutes only breathing, before exploring poses. Relaxing, grounding, all with the help of the air flowing through me.
So while or before you are using one of our amazing active meditations, or while you are sitting reading this, or while you are doing the dishes, feel and focus on your breath for a minute or two. Is it soft, is it strong, is it cold, is it warm? What parts of your body does it move. Put your hands on those moving areas and greet your breath. Maybe you can even feel gratitude for its powerful, life-giving existence. As little judgement as possible of course, only observe. Watch and let your body breathe and move you into the now.
And then let the planning begin. ;0)
photo by Romy Eichner