mysore

Bringing Breath to the Foreground

Breath is my inner tempo. Background music; often ignored but it allows me to concentrate on everything else. The breath is expected, undervalued and taken for granted. Often shallow, withheld, and restricted. I depend on its rhythm but rarely recognize its capabilities.

Luckily I practice within a system that states exactly when and where to inhale and exhale. Seems elementary? No. Not when I try to follow it with the prescribed vinyasa. Not when I realize I am blissfully unaware of its quality.

What happens when I bring breath to the foreground? Pause all the worry over being worthy enough to teach, catching my heels in Kapotasana & Saturday night plans. None of that is relevant. None of that is real.

SO I say to myself…

Can I slow down the inhale? Will it match the length of my exhale? Breath before movement. BREATH BEFORE MOVEMENT! Let the breath carry you. Notice the burning muscles but override the sensation with breath. Can I make it louder?

Remember Mary Margaret, slow and steady breeds grace but short and strained brings fear.

Maybe today is the day I breathe more fully! Move steadily past the anxiety and cut through the projections. Perhaps it’s not. Lord, give me the compassion to move forward and not beat myself up.

Then I get to ask YOU the same questions. Find your breath patterns, test your capacity and mirror my breath to match your tempo.

Is today the day?

Yes?! Good. Keep your attention there and enjoy it.

No?! Good. Have compassion & try again tomorrow.

xoxo

Maggie

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Why Ashtanga?

I’ve been really curious about WHY you all are practicing Ashtanga these days. I’ll admit that I came to Ashtanga because I got bored with power yoga. It was no longer challenging or exciting for me and I wanted to do MORE....like handstands! And then of course only to find out that you don’t really get into handstands much much later (but really THANK GOODNESS because there is so much other fun to be had.)

My current reason is that I feel like I have a capacity to FEEL MORE; experience more emotions more fully and often. This is both thrilling and sometimes exhausting. It's as if more than before, I can explicitly list what I love and enjoy but at the same time fully experience anxiety and gloom. It’s no longer buried as deep, and there is the room for all of it to be felt. I also sense that I have so much further to go. As if there is a direct correlation between connecting with deeper parts of my anatomy and realizing that they are there and that there is MORE SPACE, a greater capacity for SOMETHING; yes, strength and flexibility but something beyond that. It’s so thrilling really.


There is never an end! That the same postures still have possibilities and expansiveness. This for me personally is NOW why I practice. I had to really think about that when I had hurt my back a couple years ago and had to scale back practice. Well if I can’t do all the cool shit then WHY?! Because even with so very little there is so much possibility. My perspective is constantly challenged and what I was so very positive and “right” about is often turned upside-down. How exciting that is! To never actually know anything for sure and to question what I believe in or why I do certain things. This used to TERRIFY me so I can only attribute daily practice to this change. 
 
I’m really so curious to hear from you all on this because I promise there is no wrong answer. There can’t be, because whatever reason it is, you are showing up and working on SOMETHING. That is so much better then nothing :)
 
And who knows, it might completely change on you and throw your "perfectly made for TV" reason into a spin like it has mine.  

xoxo
Maggie