Today, my friend Esme and I took a yoga blend class; a mix of several classical yoga styles. We drove to the yoga studio in our village as the raging winds howled around us. The sky was gray, the trees swayed perilously, and anything that wasn’t tied down or planted firmly in the ground was carried away; swiftly, hurtling forward, a potential weapon. Yesterday, the temperature was in the 60s, warm and bright like a gorgeous summer day; mind you, I’m in NY and this is the height of winter season… Given the erratic weather patterns of late, we can agree that Mother Nature wants us to nurture our planet, each other, and ourselves with great care and consideration.
We gathered our yoga paraphernalia and dashed into the studio to join other classmates on the hardwood studio floor. Darcy, our teacher; expert, smiling, welcoming, greeted us, and as the winds screamed and scowled at us, she started the class with gentle stretches, deep breathing and gradually built up to challenging movements and postures. Through it all, our breathing, steady and strong, met the howling winds; taming the noise, calming the spaces within and without, embracing the soothing silence that gradually shut out the seeming chaos and violence outside. Such is the power of yogic breath.
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, sooner or later, the instructor introduces the class to breath-work or Pranayama. Prana is breath and ayama is the cessation or pausing in-between breaths. As we breathe in and out, rhythmically matching our breath to our yogic movements, we soon find a steadiness, even a calmness take place within our bodies and the petty, niggling thoughts we walked into class with have ceded. Our focus is heightened and each movement we make, each posture we take is supported by the grace that comes with the breath we take.
In between each breath is a silence; a place of prayer and quiet. That silence is the language of grace, God, calming and healing. The silent space between each breath takes us deeper into the exercises or postures and stays with us long after class has ended; long after the howling winds have subsided, and we are settled back into the routine of life at our various homes… There is nothing hocus pocus about this; as anyone who has taken a moment to breathe deeply during a panic attack knows that our focus on breath can help us collect our thoughts and our nerves.
So it is that as the howling winds shook the trees, swept away debris, and threatened to destroy everything in its path this early evening, I took yet another deep breath and found that place of silence between breaths; I bet my fellow students did too and we were comforted, healed, strengthened and reminded that God’s grace is everywhere and especially as close as the space, the silence, between each breath.
What are your thoughts? How do you find calm amidst the noise?
Positive Motivation Tip: Breathe… breathe deeply and meet that place of silence; May God’s grace meet you between each breath.
- Yoga Eases Fibromyalgia Pain (webmd.com)
- Yoga Gratitude (triangulations.wordpress.com)
- Yin Yang: Finding Our Balance In the Ebb & Flow of Life… (eof737.wordpress.com)
- Do It In Your Pajamas (Thoughts on Love) (planejaner.com)