Breathing and Yoga During the Pandemic

Hi Yoginis,

(written 5 weeks ago)

Frozen in our patterns and thoughts, moving in a similar pattern that is constructed by our minds day in and day out. But we are not what our minds tell us or even what we perceive. 

 We are beyond words and our truth lies in the void of that emptiness where we begin anew every single day.  

What are you birthing on this new day 

And with who or where do you want to travel

Life in our new normal with the pandemic and trying to learn platforms when I’m a pen a paper gal is down right tough. Just ask my kids and assistant.

On Wednesday nights class I had help, even though my tech team was at the the lake helping remotely.  I was set up and ready to go early and felt very confident since things had been getting better each week.  

However, I couldn’t hear anything come through the speaker and it doesn’t help that I’m half deaf.  After trying everything to get the sound to work, my only option was to move to my iPad after I bounced so many people in and out inadvertently and I’m so sorry, some of you couldn’t get on at all.  

It was a beautiful night but it continued to get windier and windier which made my voice harder to hear. Then the screen blew over, and one participant was accidentally sharing his screen and to top it off, I was running out of power.

The talk I planned on Breathing and Yoga and the Pandemic, fell on deaf ears since you may not have heard any of it, but I have to say, I was grateful for the message I planned because it helped me stay grounded and center myself so I could withstand the frustration, embarrassment and panic I felt when all of these interruptions and annoyances continued.  

I thought “I can’t do this again:  This is the last time I will ever teach in this forum again.” And then I took a breath and realized I had written this most likely for myself so I could drop all thought and just be present.

I was frozen and I held my breath as we do when we are in the fight or flight mode.

As I felt this I paused and took a deep breath.  

Our very first breath as babies were one of the hardest breaths we will ever take and our last breath.

In the womb we were cozy and warm with our mothers amniotic fluid surrounding us and our nourishment and breath came from our connection with our mother through our umbilical cord.  Fluid filled our lungs and upon our entry to the world our breath was replaced by air as the fluid left our lungs and was reabsorbed into our bodies and excreted cellularly and transferred out and excreted.  This is a rather shocking experience for the body and often when babies are born they are given a little swat to get this transference of oxygen to start.  

 It’s quite a complex and jarring so it’s no wonder that we often hold our breath during the day especially under stressful situations.  The body remembers everything and holds tension patterns in the tissues and we have to constantly train ourselves to Breathe which sounds so easy but if it were that easy, we wouldn’t have to take classes to teach us how to breath.

6 weeks into the pandemic, it is important now more that ever to keep breathing, (yes, with a mask if you are outside with others or shopping).

Stay present in this moment and continue to find ways to stay in the NOW.

People are viewing this in a mirage of different ways which is interesting to look at and examine.

Some are in the camp that it is over which allows some to relax, while others cringe at that thought.

Some feel it’s a political stunt. Others, that this will last for the next few years until we have an immunization for it.  

No matter where you stand, it’s easy to find yourself holding your breath hearing the ongoing bombardment.

Yoga is a practice of doing Asanas (Movements) combined with Breath (Pranayama in Sanskrit).

Pantajali was a sage that wrote the Veda Sutras in 1500 BCE.

The Yoga Sutras is a book that has the principles of Yoga outlining the 8 Limbs of Yoga and Pranayama is the 4th of the 8 principles. 

Pranayama is regulation of the breath and is the formal practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or vital life force. Together the objective is to still the inflictions of the mind.  

3 PART BREATH

There are many different breathing techniques to help still the inflictions of the mind.

One of the first breaths Yoga teachers and students learn is the 3 Part Breath. Of all the breathing techniques yoga has to offer, Three-Part Breath is one of the simplest, and yet most powerful. 

It’s called Dirgha Pranayama in Sanskrit and helps clear the mind, is grounding and relaxing and can be done on and off the mat.  

Simply breath into your Abdomen with on hand on your belly and continue filling up your diaphragm with one hand on your rib cage and expand the breath to the top on your chest where your clavicle meets.  You can hold the breath for a count of 6 or vary the length of your breaths and holds or simply just breath.  

On your exhale breath you simply allow your clavicle and chest to drop as your diaphragm releases air and finally your abdomen drawing your belly button into your spine.

5 weeks ago Little did we know, we would be watching a man being killed with a knee on his neck by a policeman when our officers are suppose to be there to protect us. No one stopped this when resuscitation is required by law.

We all bared witness to hearing George Floyd’s last words “I CAN’T BREATHE” and then saw the footage of him handcuffed, unconscious and dead. We also watched another black man, Ahmad Arbery, being gunned down by 3 white men just weeks before that.

This inhumane injustice has tortured us, wounding our psyches and souls. We are still in shock that we are still racist and predudice and this injustice needs to change. We need to do better and stand up, petition, make our voices heard, put a line in the sand, end racism, donate, stay strong and be bearers of light NO MATTER WHAT!

Out last breath should be one where we are are sheltered and escorted to the other side, loved and cared for not left gasping for our lives.

Black Lives Matter!

Now more than ever we are challenged to do better and come to our mat where we can be held, where we can breath and let go of the grief, anger and tears that have taken our bodies hostage.

Come to the mat with us and open your heart to the goodness that is all around you, where you matter, life matters and we weep together and have a moral compass. An eye for an eye won’t bring back these men but we can keep their spirits alive in our heart and have our voices heard where we can hold light and love so that their lives don’t go in vain and justice can be served.

Keep Breathing and Stay Strong!

2 thoughts on “Breathing and Yoga During the Pandemic

  1. Thank you for these words to ponder. Have to remember to breathe through all these sad and frightening times. And yes, we must do better to make sure
    We acknowledge the rampant racism that is out there and fight through our
    Votes and participation that this must finally come to an end.
    Namaste

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re so welcome Annette and thanks so much for taking time to read and respond. It truly is sad and incomprehensible we could be at a time in our lives where we are dealing such injustice. YES, YOU ARE RIGHT …. EVERYONE MUST VOTE. Thanks for your work with that. It is needed more than ever. Namaste 🙏

      Like

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