When we start practicing Yoga and Meditation we enter into a new dimension, so vast, that it seems impossible to know how vast. The Asanas (Postures), Mudras (Hands Postures), Pranayama (Breathing Exercises), Yoga Styles, Body Anatomy/Physiology and much more awaits us.
The mind that we want to quiet, begins to feel moments of glory, small drops of tranquility. The body begins its process of recognizing areas that have been totally asleep or numbed. We begin to feel the contact with our mat, the Earth that supports us, the external and internal sounds while we practice, the sacred breath and our ever present limits. But Iets not focus on our limits but on the immense possibility. that lies ahead.
To paraphrase the famous Beatles song “All you Need is Love”, this post tries to delve into that initial stage but with the title of “All you Need is Less” (Everything you need is Less). All you need is Breathing. It is fundamental and even revolutionary. Whatever the age at which we enter Yoga, we have this incredible possibility of changing ourselves with the breathing tool, Pranayama. Less than 5% of students who start Yoga have no awareness and no proper use of breathing.
The first few times I had my Master say: Please breathe … to my head came the idea of ”of course I’m breathing”
How wrong I was. I did not breathe, I only took in air. Breathing is something else, softer, slower, deeper, consciously of connection with the Body and our Being.
With time and practice I was able to take my breath to specific areas of the body, softening them, undoing them … making them conscious. I was able to calm my mind in the face of emotions. By calming that moment I managed to change. It is an instant change. Then we create another thought or act differently. We choose how. You smile before yourself. The Yogis claim to be able to change the physical structure of the body, radical for most mortals in this modern world; with practice, we give ourselves the possibility of a better Self. An I, chosen by ourselves, better than the previous one, more conscious and undoubtedly happier.
That’s why we should return to the thought of ’All We Need is Less’. Use the breath as the key to this change, to reach the body from which we have hidden and from it to the Being that awaits our reconnection. We can breathe consciously in the queue of the bank, three minutes in the kitchen waiting for our food to heat, anywhere … Feel the entrance of the nose, then … the whole nose, the throat, how the lungs inflate , the sides of our bodies, in all directions, our belly … and then empty.
There we will be and we will be an army of peace in the face of emotions and the world. Undoubtedly, we improved it from that humble and great place. Only breathing.
We share several phrases of the late master, B.K.S Iyengar with respect to breathing and ability.
“The mind is the king of the senses and the breath is the king of the mind”
“As the leafs move in the wind, your mind moves with your breath”
“Our body is the bow and the asanas are the arrows to hit the target: the soul”