Archive for August 2009


Rushing into action, you fail.
Trying to grasp things, you lose them.
Forcing a project to completion, you ruin what was almost ripe.
Therefore the Master takes action by letting things take their course.
Lao Tzu

This is what we are referring to when talking about a breath-centered yoga practice. Often a yoga instructor’s cadence becomes, “inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale…” until it becomes ambient sound and our ears habituate as we no longer pay attention. And at any given point you will hear the instruction: “coordinate the movement with the breath.”
Yadi yadi. Yada yada.
It’s plenty easy for your mind to convince you and your body to do a lot of things. The converse is true too– you may convince yourself that you have no control and you are possessed by your body by addiction or greed or whatever other deadly sin you might think up. These two things are true (and not just because I’m trying to promote the concept of non-duality either).

Try this: cat/cow vinyasa
inhale, cow
exhale, cat

Fair enough. Now breathe normally. Let the cow happen as the breath comes. As though the transition is in fact a function of the breathing mechanism. It is.

We are being breathed. The atmospheric pressure outside of the lungs and the pressure within the lungs is what causes the diaphragm to move up and down. Respiration is an autonomic function. You do it while you sleep.

And cat comes because you exhale. Bring your mind into your breath. The song is the breath and your movement is the dance. Freedom within choreography. Moving and breathing in a yoga practice is a celebration of being alive and capable–
bringing your mind into your experience
and being there
with yourself
the whole time
to witness,
to act,
and give thanks
just for that.

Now, try this:cat/cow vinyasa
(do this simultaneously)
exhale = cat
(let the postures and transitions become synonymous with the word “breathe”)

The movement is fluid and the breath is like a river…always flowing…. Sometimes it settles
as in a lake
and the breath suspends
and the mind stops.

If we try to force our bodies to do things without first giving ourselves space to breathe, we will never be able to live in a place of ease and stability. If we fight against the currents around us, we end up defeating ourselves. If we try to hold on to all of our possessions, they will possess us. If we strain, we restrain. If we take shortcuts, we don’t understand where we are.

Practicing restraint in yoga is not about denial, it is about transformation. There is no need to bottle up. To be frozen in our emotion. Become a Master by moving with the energies that nourish you. Support yourself without gripping. Trust yourself. Use self-authority by receiving guidance from all that you are and can be. Pain and pleasure follow the same rules of nature–they each will come and go. Inhale. Exhale. Birth. Death. And the spaces in between. Before and after. Let’s take more time and find more space and live a little now and then.

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Last night I had a dream of a world where my daughter hated me. She despised me with such a grudge that it could not help but remind me of her mother. A bitter chill relished in her eyes, as her words stabbed like daggers through my heart. I was never a great farther. I was never the man that kept a family shrine around his desk at work, or scheduled family events for every weekend. I was never the type of person to run around with a wallet full of pictures screaming to the world “ Look at my baby!!!!”. Of course I carry pictures of my daughter, I use to carry pictures of her mother too before the divorce. But I was always the type of person to pull them out on request not advertise them to the world. My reason for this may not make any sense to some. But I cherished my family. They were irreplaceable to me, worth more than gold or money. Some what of a vulnerability as I use to put it. I always thought that I would die without them. For my heart only beat for them. The endless hours of work. The placing of my dreams and desires on the back burner. The constant bitching and bickering, tears and regrets. I never regretted anything myself but I can not speak for all parties involved.

After all that, I sit here still shadowed. I willingly release 37 percent of my check. that’s more than double the legal child support percentage at 17 percent. I eat once a day, don’t have a penny to my name after I am done paying the bills I acquired will still married, but some how I turned out to be the bad guy.

My weeks are hectic with work and pursuing something that I know will be achieved, but sometimes I wonder could it had been achieved already if I had not placed it aside. I look at my daughter sometimes. Not in person, but from a picture and wonder if she will understand when she gets older. Will she remember all the times when I tried to come pick her up and her mother slammed the door in my face. The times we did spend together the two of us, just me and her, farther and daughter enjoying the day the good lord gave to us. I am only human, I cannot see the future, or predict life’s out comes. I can not force myself in one direction, when my heart tells me to go another. I gave a lot of myself away to a person, who at the time deserved it. But soon enough abused it, and forgot how special it was.

My dream may have been an awakening, a warning, or maybe just a fear. A thought that someone who I love unconditionally could just through me away. Be infected and influenced by another, who in my absence fed her hatred and lies. My daughter is truly the only person I can rely on in this world. Her smile shows me heaven, in a world I knew as only hell. A insight that at one time we were all innocent. Just little beings, learning and becoming influenced by our surroundings. Not yet knowing dreams or desires. Just basic wants and needs. I wish that I could remember a time with such innocence and when I realize I cannot, it does not matter. I have the chance to relive it with her.

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