I started yoga about 5 1/2 months ago. I say “started yoga” instead of “started doing yoga” for a reason — I think once you start yoga it seeps in to all your daily activities, at least that might be the end result… one I haven’t quite achieved yet. Yoga becomes more about how you react and perceive and create — it is more than just the routine or a workout, it is constant… it is with you always. In yoga, one of the most important things to remember to do is breathe — calm, steady, active breaths that help you relax and achieve not only the inner balance but also the physical stamina — and, honestly, I forget to breathe.
I find myself in the middle of yoga holding my breath or breathing too fast — my breath is hard to maintain. I realized a couple of months ago during one of those moments when I was letting yoga seep in to my daily activities, that I forget about maintaining my breathing during most things in my life — while I’m sitting calm or thinking or treadmilling or talking to someone — I forget to breathe. I think my “relax gene” has some issues that need to be sorted out.
This morning, I began my yoga practice and was determined to focus on my breathing above all else — I was determined to remain focused and balanced. So… I began. Within the first five minutes, my phone began buzzing with text messages. (I always keep my phone on the floor near me during yoga — I don’t know why, but this morning I realized it has to change.) Then the laptop began beeping with email notifications. I started to focus on the sounds of my dog and if he needed to go out, I heard my daughter in the refrigerator searching for a morning snack, I peeked at the text messages during downward dog and glanced to see who the emails were from during chair pose. I lost my focus. I began formulating my responses to the texts and the emails and forgot to breathe. That’s about the time, I was doing this, and fell.
I am, apparently, a self-sabotager. I start out with the best intentions — to make a friend smile, to show I care, to share a laugh, to help a child… and I forget to focus and balance and breathe. I lose track of the present and my mind becomes consumed with the what-ifs of the future. The present is my downfall — the present is where my breathing becomes fast or short or ceases… never rhythmic.
Yesterday, I joined a little over 200 people in a project called 21.5.800 created by Bindu Wiles. It’s a way to combine yoga and writing and community. The concept is intriguing and I hope to keep up my end of the writing — at least that was my original intention… to keep up with the writing. But, this morning, on day 2 of the challenge, I think I’m changing my focus. I think my new focus in this challenge is to breathe — steady, calm, rhythmic… and place the cell phone just out of my reach.
So if you see me out, breathing, steady and calm, just know… I’m working on my “relax gene”. I’m working on letting yoga seep in to my daily activities. I’m working on my inner balance and my outward stamina. I’m working on my creativity. I’m working on the present and trying to let the present guide the future. And honestly, sometimes, when I’m doing all that stuff, I forget to breathe.
I’m not sure how many times I’ve used this picture in my posts — it’s one of my favorites from Zebra Sounds. Go visit — you’ll thank me.