Monday, December 2, 2013

Just Breathe

The first time I took a yoga class.  It was in Santa Cruz, in a beautiful, huge, wooden floored room.  The instructor had a very airy, floaty voice, consistent with my imagination of what a yoga teacher might sound like.  (Except for the fact that my real first yoga teacher, Lilias, who taught me yoga after Sesame Street did not talk like that.)  During sivasana, final relaxation, we focused our breathing to all of the different parts of our bodies, and I found that I could really send my breath down to my toes.  Prior to that, I had mostly thought of my breath as a tool for helping me sing, if I thought about it at all.
Breathing is that unconscious function that keeps us going--and also that conscious action that can bring us back to our true selves.  Over the past year, I have become a more consistent with my meditation practice.  Starting or ending each day (or both!) with some focused breathing time has reminded me to use my breath as a tool throughout my day.  I have made little reminders around the house with just one word, "BREATHE" on them, and sometimes, these little reminders help me from going apoplectic (our vocab word for the week) over little things when it's 6:30 and dinner is not on the table, and the toddler has not had a nap and is howling and drumming on anything he can find, and homework help is needed in two directions for two different subjects, and the dog is barking at invisible foes, and. and. and...... BREATHE.... ahhhhh.  A respite from the world that I can make for myself in one second.  Today, I remember to breathe.

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