I awoke promptly at 7:40am to tycho gently playing from my phone. Some mornings are hard. meh... most mornings challenge me and something urges me to stay in bed, yet this curiosity for possibility wants me to get up and move.
I woke, showered, ate a bit of food and got in the car and drove to The Yoga Workshop to practice, with an intent to flow through the primary series, just in time to rest my head with the morning crew in savasana. I love the space held in savasana; i go deep, beyond the room, into a state of transcendence of thought; for just a glimpse in time at least.
As i was driving my car, I took a deep breath and for some reason, I couldn't breathe! it was not the lack of courage to take a breath and see my feelings, it was a physical sticky icky, hardness and obstruction of breath in my nasal passage.
"GawD BleSs iT! how am i going to practice if i cant breathe? not even out of one nostril? Whatever. I'll still go and show up. I'm halfway there, I am supposed to go this morning," my mind said.
I walk into the workshop and I see a few familiar faces, some I find excitement to meet, some that i am honestly a bit intimidated by, due to the depth of their practice. in my own core, it truly excites me, to see practitioners far into the 3rd and 4th series of Asthanga. maybe one day...
For those that don't know, Mysore is a self-guided practice, following the Primary Series of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga as taught by Sri K Pattabhi Jois, GuruJi, who brought yoga to America through his students. it is a very challenging and quite inaccessible sequence that has almost 60 Chaturangas! it is fire and intensity!
As I stepped onto the mat, i chanted the opening prayer & released my hands to my sides. I took an incredibly slow inhalation breath that lasted maybe 7-10 counts to reach my hands high above my head & my exhale folded my body in half. It was only this slow because my nose is all clogged up! Oh, but wait! I couldn't exhale! so i just folded in half with no connection to breath! bahumbug.
I floated back into chaturanga with no breath and sipped in air as i stretched my belly forward into Upward Facing Dog.
Ex-hale (i mean cough!!) Downward Facing Dog we go. I tried to let my head go, but the pressure upon my sinus was too intense to do so. My head kept gazing forward as If i was about to pounce ahead.
I did this three more times, Surya Namaskar, without an ability to deepen my breath and find my flow. I asked Ty, the main Mysore instructor If i could sit, because I just couldn't breathe. He welcomed my meditation.
So i sat down, crossed my legs in padmasana & noticed my surroundings. the hardest part: Close.My.Eyes.
I sat in padmasana until my ankles began to speak to me and as they did, I sat in sukhasana, a cross legged position with one heel in front of the other.
i closed my eyes. the first ten minutes consisted of the monkey mind, thoughts bouncing off of eachother as if there was a furnace in my body, expressing energy wanting to move in every way, shape, and form.
once I decided to DROP IN - I focused my eyes within, came to my mantra that Yashoda DeviMa taught me through Vedic Meditation... and slowly began. The interesting thing about meditation is we bring our focus of awareness onto an object. For myself & most early practitioners to meditation, we understand this focus and intention; yet we constantly lose sight of the object. Observing the loss of focus on the object (breath, mantra, whatever your focus is) is the greatest teacher to maintaining steady practice. Keep coming back....
Mantra comes and goes and when it would leave, I integrated a few pranayama practices, mindful breathing exercises. This was hard since I couldn't exhale, not even 25%!
I opened my eyes and was so surprised to see 35 minutes have passed! wow! At that point, I closed my eyes again and began to simply listen.
this is when things got deep. I tuned in. To everyone I was sharing the space with. the Breath....wow...
hearing everyones breath come and go through inhalation and exhalation was incredible. It was as if I was in a cave; and if clouds could make sounds, this Ujayii breath embodied a Cloud Wave ebbing and flowing from each practitioner to the next. it brought me security, comfort, and inspiration.
As i embellished in the sound of breath, I let my fascination soften and I come back to my breath. At this point, I cannot put into words the experience I came to feel.. I knew I was in a room, I knew my back was resting softly against the wall, my hands were in my lap, I knew there was an immense presence of breath all around me. I had my mantra on repeat in my mind, yet my mindseye was tapped into somewhere else. a source? I felt connected, even though I felt my breath disconnected from my body.
So here....I found myself going so deep, without going into a deep backbend, twist, arm balance, or asana. I felt incredible high from sitting still. I opened my eyes to see 48 minutes had passed, only to see colors lit up with exuberance. Then i laid down in savasanna for about 2 minutes. ( i couldn't breath and laying down flat was not a pleasant sensation. )
I find this important, to sit still. Even for 5 minutes. In our days filled with chaos, over-stimulus, and so much movement, It must be important to find stillness.
This was my morning. I had an intent and expectation to flow, move through physical challenge and exertion. instead, my body spoke to me and asked for less, to tune in, to see something new. I listened.
If we listen to our bodies, we will always win. always. How i got sick? well, i don't know. maybe I didn't listen earlier. Now i'm trying to listen. Always...over and over.
Go deep inside my friends. <3 Theres a great landscape waiting to be seen. <3