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!

STAY STRONG IN LIGHT

S.I.P, UnWine🍷d Wednesday Yoga 6/3/2020

Rage, tears, broken hearts, injustice
No words when your heart has been ripped out
 Everything we value has been reduced to silencing and killing

The streets are filled with noise, broken glass, bleeding hearts
We can’t breath and if one can’t breathe
We all can’t breath.

Silenced forever with no remorse, no ability to stand for justice
Anger and destruction looking to dispel the pain
Calling other squashed souls to rise and be heard

Injustice building upon hatred and racism
Bubbling Temperatures rise, like making molasses
Sticky, heated, oozing out of our pours, wounds seeping open

Violence breeds violence
Fear breeds fear
Love opens our hearts to truth

We stand together to reflect the light 
Standing up, and staying strong, we will not be silenced
But we will not destroy in rage and be part of the problem

We Spread light, We are Light, We are Love
We pray for healing and change that reflects our true nature
We stand united not divided, when the light blows out, it illuminates us all

LOVE TRUMPS ALL

Greetings~

11-09-2016 was no different for me than it was for most of you as I greived and was in shock. I planted 300 daffodil bulbs that day, ate chocolate, bought flowers and drank wine. ok, so maybe not the best way as a health and wellness professional to deal with disappointment but true none the less and hey, someone has to tell the truth around here right?  We obviously can’t count on honesty in politics unfortunately.

Please feel free to share your thoughts with me good, bad or indifferent.  Perhaps we can get a dialogue going here on what actually matters.

I sit with my spine erect rooting into the earth, in part to draw energy in to help me get through the day and in part to protect the land that has gifted us its resources and asked for nothing back.
A place that houses our ancestors, all great leaders, and our founding forefathers.
My soul aches, the tears wash over me into a river of uncharted territory where I fear for our land, water, and children, worrying that our resources we have desperately been trying to protect will disappear before our eyes and for the first time I am scared and embarrassed for our country.

How could we have chosen a bigoted, misogynist, racist to run our country?!?!
The river feels washed up inside and out but I am reminded nature is the true teacher and lessons will enfold in time and much will make its way known.

I see women who can easily dismiss crude racial comments about blacks, woman, mexicans, shouting “lock her up” and I wonder – “who are they”?
They are not my tribe.
They are “smart” women – teachers, yogis, Christians, at-home moms, grandmothers, working moms who say they don’t agree with his vulgar language and would turn their son over their knee and spank him if they heard their son talk like that. How can they turn a blind eye to the very core values that make America great when casting their ballot for economic gain?

And who are the men that tolerate this?
Not my men. Not the ones that I have chosen or raised and for that I am eternally grateful.

The fallout with kids in the classroom after the election is breeding more ground for separation, not unifying them.
If our future President can speak with such vulgarity, bullying and tweeting no less, how can we stop this on the playground, let alone our world?!

I wore my Obama buttons on 11/9 to honor the pride I have felt during his 8 years of office, fully aware of the things he got done, the things he didn’t and the things that were fermenting in time like good wine. His dignity, grace, honesty, wisdom, intelligence, and gentle strength will always shine brightly in my heart and make me proud to be an American, along with the other great presidents and leaders we have had. His morality to his family, friends, people, and country are values I admire and respect. He leads with love, courage, and conviction which is the cornerstone for change that seeps in over time. If change is promised quickly, wisdom tells you to be leery.

People said all day “get over it and deal with it; it’s easier to join them.”

I WILL NEVER JOIN THOSE WHO CHOOSE POWER OVER DIGNITY AT ANY COST.
I will never change my stance on a woman’s right to choose;  a right we worked so hard to achieve. I will never put my head in the sand denying climate change while we continue fracking, leaving our earth compromised. I will NEVER TOLERATE BIGOTRY AND HATRED THAT DIVIDES US INSTEAD OF UNIFIES US.

Today I am angry and I grieve the lives of my children and future generations with so many of you.

I have taught my children to love, stand up for equality no matter what color or race, to use words that heal not divide, to honor their environment that mother earth has allowed us to borrow.

I have taught them from early on to use their words and negotiate, not use

name-calling that is below the belt.
We will unite and not lay down to cowardly terrorists or succumb to harsh despicable words no matter what.

So, Don’t ask me today while my heart is broken to just get over it and move on.
I will never move away from my moral compass no matter what the cost.

Today I grieve with so many of my fellow Americans but we are strong and we will get through this together and justice and peace will prevail the way it always does.
We will keep our heads high, our hearts will heal, and we will work smarter and harder than ever for the values and issues that matter to us and never take our rights for granted or put our heads in the sand ever again.
We will be stronger than ever before while we stand together as one.

We will come to terms that Trump is our President elect but we will remember and know Love Trumps All!

Blessings and Gratitude, 

Cindy

 

The Day 4 of the 5 Day Warrior

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Day 4 of The 5 Day Warrior

Erica Jago is a skilled beautiful Yogini, Graphic Designer, and author who teaches and leads workshops in finding your voice and calling.

The workshop I took from her was called The Creative Pause which focused on finding your inner writer.

Erica has a soft grounded presence which is both ethereal and magical.

She is strikingly beautiful and soft spoken and at first you might think that she might blow away when you see her but she connects so deeply to Mother Earth she is solid as a rock and very insightful.

Her story is compelling and reminds us all to trust our path and journey always listening to our internal messages.

She is also an engineer and was working in the field a few years ago.  She suffered from an eating disorder for 18 years and as a way of finding refuge she started taking yoga classes.  She was invited to take the teacher training program probably because in looking at her she has the body and grace of a ballerina.  As she began putting sequences together she started drawing stick figures to remember what she would teach in classes.  While doing so she had a vision that this would be useful to other practicing students and teachers and the idea of a book was born.  When she got laid off she delved in head first and Co Authored the book “The Art of Attention: Book One and Healing Cards”, and started teaching and leading workshops full time.  Her book and yoga became her teacher for internal healing from her eating disorder and she is so grateful and blessed to be walking this path of freedom and eager to share her gifts.

Barbara Gong Master Cole, hit the gongs in the background as we did Kapalabhati breathing (also known as Shinning Skull or Fierce Breathing ) for over 7 minutes.  I expected movement, but we sat in meditation and did breath work for the entire class.

Between the meditation, breathing, and gongs, my entire body vibrated; creating bliss, clarity, and calmness, openness of my senses and chakras. There were no words; but quiet and peace, as I connected to my Sahasrara crown chakra opening to the heavens towards the white light.

OM, OM, OM

When the class was over there was a feeling of transformation that echoed in tent with the smell of the ocean breeze.

We were then instructed to let our inner writer out.

Here is my unedited version that spoke to me.

A blade of grass touching my toes like a tree rooted in the ground reaching to find light.

Fragile with jagged edges yet strong making it’s way to be known.  It will be cut and go back to the Earth from which it came, but its seeds will fly creating, more grasses to sprout and bloom just like our ancestors that came before us.  No longer do we need to know who they are or their genetic code, because they live in us and we in them.

We are the carriers of this message of truth.

Fear not:  We carry the torch and light the path and when our job is done we will join that blade of grass without hesitation, concern or worry; but rather happy and fulfilled blessed by the perfection of this miraculous design.