32: Life Kumbhaka

breathingSometimes when I teach I ask my students to check in with themselves. How are you doing? The question is not about their yogic prowess but more about them, how comfortable they are, how they feel, are they ok in their own bodies and minds, do you feel good about yourself? Are you present? Are you connected to what you are doing?

So how are you doing? Really? When we move through life we sometimes forget to pause and ask ourselves this question. We may have a pervading feeling of hopelessness over us or a bright cloud of grace so we may have a sense of how we are but do we every really stop to assess this? This is not a question about your ability to perform the biggest brightest poses in life but to ascertain your well being, your grace.

Here are some questions to consider for today?

How quickly do I react? If someone says something that is a little off is there a pause between the inhale and exhale or do I fly off the handle holding my breath?

How often do I want to run? When something is difficult be it a pose or a person am I able to still be present and hold space for that person?

How often do I pay attention to my breathing? The breath is a physiological response to our emotional state? You may be breathing through your mouth or you may have held your breath in an awkward situation. Some days when things are not going ok, if you can breathe well then you are doing ok.

How aware am I? To what I say, do and think? How do my actions affect others?

How devoted to my practice am I? Am I still a tourist biting off the edges or do I get out my mat everyday regardless to practice or meditate or breath.

Practice for today: We start this life with and inhale and finish it with an exhale. At the top of the inhale and the bottom of the exhale is a pause which we can hold called a Kumbhaka. Take a moment between the inhale and exhales to pause, soften and assess within this pause, within this breath how am I doing today?


One Comment on “32: Life Kumbhaka

  1. Taking it all in, is what I do. Breath….. and feel my breath fill my stomach. And I breath out. I have not come across any other better barometer to progress better than reaction. Thx 4 sharing.

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