learning to breathe

I love what B.K.S Iyengar writes in The Tree of Yoga. He says:

The mind can go in many directions in a split second.
It’s movements are very fast and varied.  But the breath
cannot go in many directions at once.  It has only one
path: inhalation and exhalation.  It can pause for a
moment in a state of retention, but it cannot multiply
like the mind.

Most of the time we let our minds take control.  So we sometimes feel stress, anxiety, frustration, jealousy, sadness.  But if we bring the focus to our breath, to the wave-like sounds of our inhalations and exhalations, we can find stillness and peace of mind.  This is the true gift of yoga.  Yes, flexibility and strength we like too, but learning to breathe and to find stillness−this is how we get to transformation and change.

When I tell people I practice yoga every day they are often shocked that I have the time and discipline to do so.  What’s my little secret?  I breathe.  Of course there are days when I can’t get to the mat, but I always take time each day to breathe.  This is the beauty of it all.  You can draw your attention inward and take a few minutes to focus on your breath anywhere really – at your desk at work, on the bus or subway, while you are waiting in line at the market.  Just close your eyes for a moment and breathe.


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