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soft breath

“freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem.” J Krishnamurti

changing something as integral as the breath is interesting, offers new challenges and inevitably prompts a few questions.

i thought it might help to explore these in this, and next week’s journal. today we will focus on soft breathing. next week we will think about the abdomen.

Vanda Scaravelli and Krishnamacharya shared the view that breath is the most important aspect of the practice.

however, Scaravelli’s teaching is that breath in āsana should be natural. “nothing should interfere with the simple, tide-like movement of our lungs as we breathe in and out.” (VS, Awakening the Spine). things that might interfere include ujjayi and a deliberate contraction of the abdomen on the exhalation.

breathing is not a ‘doing’ activity. sandra sabatini, states that awareness of our breathing needs “a new kind of intelligence” which means developing a highly attentive presence.

here are some suggestions for enquiring into the loosening of ujjayi from your own practice. whatever postures you are doing you can use these ideas too.

allow plenty of time to tune in to your inner silence – listen to yourself

let your body commit to the ground slowly – let go through your feet deeply

watch the breath move slowly between your body and the world – sending it out softly, watching it come back to you softly

give attention to the tidal swell and retreat of the breath

“it may feel as if nothing very much has happened…but be sure that a series of minute rearrangements have taken place at a very deep level and that their echoes, like a ripple, will go on resounding inside you for hours, for days.” sandra sabatini