No One's Going to Die Here Today, So Breath

I never really learned how to breath until I became a regular at my friend Lissy's yoga classes. She teaches yoga for climbers, skiers, bikers, core, and well no matter what class it is she'll kick your butt! One day, in a particularly hard skiers class, made significantly harder than usual because it had been dumping all weekend and of course we had all skied like mad and had tight legs and backs to show for it, Lissy said something along the lines of: 'no one's going to die here tonight, so breath....just suck it up and breath'. Lissy's never one to sugar coat it, but when you're in pigeon after frying your hip for the last 30 minutes (or so it feels) focusing the mind only on the breath, and not getting up kicking and screaming like a spoiled child, can be quite challenging.

But I took Lissy's comment to heart; no one is going to die today, so breath. Honestly have you ever seen someone struggling to stay in a deep forearm lunge just fall over and die? Joking aside this idea struck me deep and it changed my practice. Now I go to class and even when my IT bands are so tight you could strum them like a guitar, no matter how much my body screams, all I have to do is breath more. Inhale a little deeper to create space and exhale a little stronger to hug into center. It's amazing how the simple act of focusing on the breath can keep you present and in your body during the most hot and sweaty internal struggle fest that some yoga classes present.

When focusing on the breath in intense poses you should note the following: yes, you will feel your body and the deep sensations, but no you won't care because you're not allowing your mind to focus on anything other than breathing.

So how can we bring this lesson off the mat and into the world? No matter what the world throws your way, how can you use your warrior within to help you realize that no one it going to die here today? Just breath.


This too shall pass

It's April now and even though it's still dumping snow out here in Utah there are the signs of Spring. With Spring comes the budding of flowers, the hint of warm weather, and the reality of change. This Spring many things are changing in my life, and I have been trying to embrace them with open arms versus denial and repression.

For many reasons I have been veering in another direction from the path I had tried so carefully to lay out. Unfortunately veering can sometimes feel more like leaping off the deep end. Thus with this new direction my life has become as unsettled as a freshly shaken snow globe. In these times of the unknown I keep reminding myself that 'this too shall pass'.

'This too shall pass' is a proverb conveying that material things and events in ones life will come and go. This is a great phrase in times of despair or frustration, but it is also supposed to be used in times of elation and good fortune. It is a way for us to grow through our interactions with life. And a reminder that nothing is forever. Do not get attached to what you had or where you were going, do not dwell on the past or dream of the future. Be thankful for the present and whatever it brings.

Change can be a beautiful thing, scary, but beautiful. Embrace both.

Great song by a fellow VTer Bobby Kendes Things Are Changing  (song is in the right hand corner)