It starts with breath. It is so simple, and yet one of the hardest parts. The realization that you’ve become disconnected often only happens upon that first breath, and so the question becomes what happens in between? If you only feel connected when you are paying close attention to your breath, what is happening within all those other hours, weeks, years? I don’t have this answer. The answer I do have is come back to the breath, come back to your body, come back to yourself.
So often I find myself in this haze of dissociation. Moving about in the world, trying to get my stuff done or even lying on my couch immersed in my shows. Going from one to the other, conversations and plans with no recollection at the end of week of where my time went, or why I’m so tired (insert: unhappy, uninspired, dull) and then I pause and I take a breath. If I’m lucky, I take a few more.
We spend our lives in our head and yet what carries us around from place to place is our body. Without this powerful and beautiful vessel (whether mobile or not) we are nothing. In Yoga we teach about the connections of mind and body and then push and pull ourselves into various positions to make it all right, or to make it all better. What if we just stopped, what if instead we only focused on our breath. Closed our eyes and truly just focused on what it felt like to have our breath move in and out of our body. To literally feel prana, carrying our energy, our life force through our body. This miracle and gracious gift that has been given to us to experience what life is on this planet.
And so we breathe, and we breathe deeply. We expand our bellies, we feel our breath press into our ribs and behind our shoulder blades, and we continued to take those last few sips of breath to the top of our chest. As we exhale we soften, quieting into our space. Finding that slight pause where time no longer exists, where all are one. And then we breathe in this miracle again. This moment: the present, the here and now, aware of the inner workings of our precious vessel, our hearts beating soundly, the gentle gurgling in our tummies. The ache in our shoulders that gently reminds us of our need to move and flow and discover those poses that help us feel alive and yes – connected! But how were we to know if we didn’t take that first breath?