Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Breathing

Speaking of my husband, my husband is a bodyworker. He practices Structural Integration, more commonly known as Rolfing. It is an intense and transformative process that involves your participation, indeed, requires your participation, with body and mind.
The rolfing series involves 10 sessions. I have had 7 of the 10 sessions, which is good! The work has allowed me to move my body in ways that were much free-er, and helped me stand taller. I could even feel better in my yoga (more accurately, asana) practice.
During a session, Chance would have his hands on me and apply pressure in ways that felt uncomfortable. I wouldn't say it was painful, just intense and temporarily uncomfortable. To ease this process, Chance would say "follow the breath." or "bring the breath to your elbow." (for instance)
"Follow the breath" has stuck with me, especially when I think of rhythm. Rhythm IS breathing; our days are filled with myriad in-breaths and out-breaths in a dance that leaves us thoroughly invigorated, exhausted, tired but happy, or somewhere in between. Breath is sustenance, and sometimes I feel my breath becomes too shallow and quick...I am not paying attention when that happens, and am letting my "rhythm" be the sort that is stressful. I want to "follow the breath" and embark on a creative exploration of breathing.
What is breathing, exactly?
in:: hold::out
Expand::contract
Active::sleeping
chaos::creation::order
tense::hold::release
take out::put back
inhale::exchange::exhale
 Breathing is a force of rhythm, of ritual, of habit. A breath has a beginning, a middle, and an end. I often have trouble with the exhale...the ends...I leave lots of them loose.
Just for fun, I decided to document one "breath" out of my day. We have family dinner every Tuesday night, because in our house, it is, sadly, the only night out of the week where everyone is home at the same time. My Rolfer often works late to accomodate clients, and my teen girl is just plain busy, and, well, Bri is in college. So Tuesdays are special, and it is burrito night!
Here is our breath: clean up, set the table, eat, clean up again.



How do you follow the breath?

1 comment:

  1. I am learning to follow the breath instead of manipulate it and it is changing my life and my personhood. This is an awesome post. Kundalini Yoga is what has taught me to focus on breath. Breath is life. There is a lot of pranayam in KY each serving a different purpose. The hardest for me at this time is suspended breath. The trusting that another breath will follow and if not it doesn't matter. :)

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