Yoga, Place, and One Intentional Breath a Day

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Yoga Confluence Event held outdoors at Cahokia Mounds, Illinois… October, 2010

(Excerpts from opening remarks by Robert Fishbone)

What is it about place? About knowing where one is. What is it about choosing to be somewhere? And when there is a gathering, how is it that a community is born?

While the practice of yoga is really individual, we still find value in attending classes, retreats and even events like this. Though we may all be at different levels in our yogic abilities, we are each contributing something unique when we assemble.

Our added energies truly lift each other up, even as we go deeper within ourselves through poses and maybe more importantly, through breathing.

So many times when I hear someone say, “okay, everyone take a deep breath!”, people fill the tiny empty space in the top of the their lungs with a tiny bit of air…Hello!

What I see is that each breath holds the potential for each of us to be reborn, again and again and again.

Now imagine this:

When we empty our lungs from the bottom, from our core, we’re letting go of not just old air, but the past, which is gone.

For a moment, when our lungs are empty, and we are still, we are truly present, and anything is possible.

Drawing in a new breath is like stepping into the future, our new life that we just created.

I believe that if we could take one intentional breath every day, just one, if we only made that simple of a commitment, just one breath in total awareness, it would plant a seed that would grow and help us live lives of deliberateness. This slight change in how we breathe would help us see things differently… it could even point us in the direction of being the difference in other’s lives. Think of it as the pause that refreshes.

Just as yoga guides us in the ‘repair’ of ourselves, it can also provide insight on ways to fix the world, to help the world get back into balance as we get ourselves back into balance, one small, achievable step at a time.

Because breathing, like yoga, fosters self connection. And the practice of yoga further creates a sense of community and a link to the oneness of all beings everywhere.

Of course, you all know this.

When we enter a practice room, we are honoring each other no matter the level of our abilities, because we are respectful of what everyone brings. Even with our limitations, as human beings and as students of yoga, we embrace the simple essence of being in the world.

We do not tell each other what to feel, or how to think, or how to live… but we do support each other as we literally and figuratively stretch ourselves to become more grounded and joyful people, as we expand our awareness from the center of our consciousness, through our familiar bodies, and out into the world. This is our intention today, this is our intention every day.

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