The Power of your Breath

The first day Satya arrived. I had been going along quite happy with my practice, staying focused and breathing my way through the sore muscles, endless sweat dripping and lots and lots of pushups. I felt I was getting stronger and more flexible with each day.         Until now.

What makes it possible to do the asanas one day and not be able to achieve that the next. I had gone through all the same steps and done all the same movements but my concentration was distracted. There was something inside me that wanted to get out.

I have a knee that is recovering from a reconstruction. I know that I have limits from this but I also know this has allowed me opportunity for huge improvement. I normally feel determined this will not stop me in my practice, it will only make me stronger.

Today my mind used my knee as an excuse. The day before we did the active meditation, where you run on the spot for 15min. I have been running on my knee since the operation so I decided this activity would be fine. We did the exercise then an hour and a half practice. My knee was a little tight but overall not too bad. The next day I went to practice and started out fine. As I got further into the asanas my body was giving me little hints something was out of balance. One side was compensating and my muscles were not as relaxed as usual. Thoughts started to creep into my mind about my injury. Should I be doing this or that and why does it hurt today and it didn’t yesterday. This was enough to take my concentration away from my breath and let frustration creep in. Then I started thinking you should listen to your body and maybe not push it too hard if it is injured. But how do you know if it is too hard or if it is just your mind trying to control you. I find it more challenging to take a step back and sit out than push on and find out.

We also had the distraction of having a different teacher, my boyfriend was arriving at that time and another student had to leave unexpectedly for singapore. I was not conscious of all of these distractions at the time but looking back I am sure they somehow played a part.

My emotions were coming to the surface and my practice was going downhill. My breath was all over the place along with my body and my mind. I noticed I had started breathing through my mouth. This bought my awareness back to my breath.

I kept going and struggling with frustration until I found my breath again .The Ujjayi breathing got me back in the room and in touch with the asanas. I focused my thoughts on my breath and breathed my way through the rest of practice. The last part was salvaged. I did feel drained but I felt I had achieved something as I was able to regain my focus which also reinforced the lesson of the power of the breath.