In a yoga class I once attended, the instructor said "we do all this work for the sole purpose of finding our way to shavasana." Now, shavasna is the final pose in a yoga class where one rests, not to sleep but to recharge after a period of effort and work. At the time, I thought her statement was odd. After all, why would I spend 50 minutes of effort if the only goal was to lie down and relax for 10? Couldn't I just skip the work and go straight to shavasana?
With more reflection, I realized one must experience the process the work and the rest; both parts complete the process and neither one can stand alone. Again, it's about balance... too much work without rest leads to imbalance and vice versa.
Yoga has also taught me the power of breathing. Using my breath to calm me down or to provide focus. A strategy needed not only on the mat. Isn’t it odd that we breathe all the time without ever giving it much thought?. Our breath is the most important life-sustaining act that we do. How long can we go without oxygen? A couple of minutes? maybe 5? Yet we don't even think about it.
We know how to do the “work” part, let's practice how to do the “rest” part. Using your breath to recharge is a powerful technique that takes only moments. If you find yourself thinking "I don't do yoga" or "this is silly," I encourage you to give this one a try. It isn't "yoga" per se and so what if you feel silly... that's ok too.
Peace seed #6.
Breathe. Allow the oxygen to permeate your entire being. Focusing on our breath provides that moment of rest we need to recharge ourselves in this busy, chaotic world. Today, let’s practice being aware of our breath with this easy technique.
Take a comfortable seat, making sure to sit up tall with feet placed firmly on the ground.
Place your hands on your lap and close your eyes.
Slowly breathe in through your nose to the count of 3 (1-2-3).
Pause holding the inhale for a brief moment.
And now exhale through the nose to the count of 3 (1-2-3).
Pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale.
Repeat as many times as you need.
When you're feeling stressed, anxious, or looking for a calm and peaceful way to begin your day, repeat 5-10 cycles, allowing your mind to follow your inhales and exhales. You don’t have to practice this technique in a calm, quiet place with low-distraction. You might find it helpful when walking, in traffic, waiting in line at the post office, sitting in a meeting, or even while knitting.
As you continue to practice this simple breathing technique, perhaps try visualizing the oxygen entering your body, crossing the border of your lungs, hitch-hiking a ride in a fancy car known as the red blood cell, crossing yet another border into the cell, traversing the terrain to a special room, the mitochondria where the oxygen is processed to sustain your entire being…
Allow the oxygen to permeate your entire body from the tip of your head to your big toe. And while the balance of work and rest may seem like a daunting task, find a space to capture that balance for just a few minutes today.
May your day be filled with peace and a few conscious breaths...
Our first giveaway!!
This past summer I had the fortunate opportunity to travel to Cordova, Alaska to attend The Net Loft Fiber and Friend’s Festival. I’ll share more on that experience in several upcoming posts however one of the highlights was the people I met and friendships made. At one of the evening potlucks, a woman named Susan came up to me and said “tell me more about this peace thing you do.” So, I explained my dreams, aspirations and goals… That day, I believe a seed was planted and our friendship has continued to grow. I share all of this with you because today’s first give-away is provided by Susan. She has the most generous and giving heart. I’ll send you two skeins of Moeke yarn, locally produced in Romania with “love and care” in the most beautiful blue color. Thank you Susan!
Here’s what you need to do… leave a comment (or email me your comment if you can’t leave a comment for whatever reason) by midnight 12/7 in response to the following statement:
How can you bring more peace to your daily life… whether it’s something we’ve discussed thus far or a different idea you’ve had. Let’s start sharing and cultivating our knitted peace community.
Hopefully everyone’s yarn is beginning to arrive. Packages went out on Saturday through Monday. I haven’t had a moment to enter the tracking numbers but please know they’re in the mail.
BIG NEWS… on saturday, the name of our goose will be revealed along with the ability to download the pattern. Again, I can’t thank Nicky enough.