standing – breathe softly a while – your breath will become slower
now – everything is ready – gravity and breath have made all the preparations
your out breath can lower your soft body back into itself again
your shoulders lead the way – sliding down your back like rain on a windowpane
can you feel your pelvis bathing in it?
breath pools and spreads at your feet
you are washed through
there is a peculiar silence when it rains, and that morning in the valley all the noises seemed to have stopped – the noises of the farm, the tractor, and the chopping of wood. there was only the dripping from the roof, and the gutters were gurgling. it was quite extraordinary to feel the rain on one, to get wet to the skin, and to feel the earth and the trees receive the rain with great delight; for it hadn’t rained for some time, and now the little cracks in the earth were closing up. the noises of the many birds were made still be the rain; the clouds were coming in from the east, dark, heavily laden, and were being drawn towards the west; the hills were being carried by them, and the smell of the earth was spreading into every corner. all day it rained. J Krishnamurti
lie on your back – knees bent and feet on the floor
do nothing to direct your breath
do nothing to your breath
in particular – don’t think you have to do special ‘yoga breathing’ (by this i mean – don’t get serious about it, trying to make a special sound, or direct breath somewhere, as if it doesn’t already know the way.)
notice what happens when you place no control AT ALL on your breath
can you feel how the body is moving?
lie there for a while. keep noticing
when you are ready, just do your normal practice – breathing exactly like you did on the floor
(i know – it feels ridiculous – but trust me)! just keep noticing.
learn how to listen to your body, going with it and not against it, avoiding all effort or strain.
Peace, my stranger, is a tree
Growing naturally through all its
Discomforts, trials and emergencies
It is green and resolved
It breathes with anguish
Yet it releases peace, peace of mind
It walks this greening sweetness
Throughout all the earth,
Where sky and sun tender its habits
As I would yours.
many of you will have seen the beautiful book ‘the lost words’ by robert macfarlane and jackie morris.
in july, an album of music inspired by the book will be released.
i hope you enjoy this inspiring video preview – a gentle glimpse into an artistic collaboration, with nature at its heart, reminding us to ‘walk through the world with care’ – or you might say – with yoga.
i’m revising for an exam at the moment, so for the next few weeks i’ll simply post a photo, a poem, a link or a quotation that has inspired me. i hope you will enjoy them and perhaps use them to prompt your own meditations.
after the exam, ‘normal’ service will resume!
today – a quotation.
The mind needs to be clear and as empty as possible. Fill it with techniques and instructions and we’re back to the doing.
i recently heard that Bath Tourist Board are trying to encourage people to stay longer in the city. visitors rush in to see the Roman Baths, perhaps stop off at the Spa, stand outside the abbey for a photo, and then off they go.
with no time to acquire a sense of the place, no time to absorb its subtleties, to sit in a park or idle along the river – how much of Bath have they missed?
with so many interesting postures to choose from, it’s easy to fill time on the yoga mat, like a tourist with a ‘to do’ list, cramming all your favourites into every practice. this is not yoga.
try spending longer, much longer, with fewer postures. be more generous with them. shower them with breath as your body idles along. find the back streets and the quiet gems of the practice.
take your time – you have plenty
find the expanse of the breath in one posture – slowly – move on the exhale – wait – the in breath will reach you from far away – space opening like wide parkland.
wander along through the practice – stopping off when you feel like it… look at the view…
“Salute thyself: see what thy soul doth wear…
And tumble up and down what thou finds there.” George Herbert