Lately, I’ve heard whispers of conversations. People tiring of routines. People wondering how I don’t feel burnout from doing the same postures every time I go to a Bikram class. They’ve asked me about the magic motivating key.
The truth is, they’re not the same postures. Not for me. Every day, every class provides an opportunity to explore a new portion of my body, of my breath, of my personality, of my spirit.
This is one of those blog entries that sounds better in my head than on the computer screen!
I’d like to share my thoughts on breath. If you find yourself bored with whatever your fitness/workout routine is, look at and observe your breath. Each Bikram class starts and ends with a breathing sequence. I think every exercise routine ought to do the same. Why? Breath/Prana gives life, gives you the chance to workout to the fullest potential. How do you breathe?
In the opening sequence of Bikram “Standing Deep Breathing” students perform two sets of breathing. This breath when performed consciously will allow you to go deeper into your practice and, indeed, deeper into your life. I know this from experience. I love meditating and I realized recently that I could feel my whole spine while I inhaled and exhaled. Before Bikram I did not have that level of body awareness.
Back to breathing. For longer than I care to remember I engaged in unconscious breathing. I didn’t come from my core. I just breathed and moved my arms. It wasn’t that I didn’t care. I’d follow instructions and then relax. I don’t think I fully grasped just how much proper breath would add to my practice, add to my life.
My frustration over the size of my belly got me to really pay attention to my breathing, to my core. It’s the part of my body that is shrinking at the slowest pace, or it feels that way. So I have to do what I can go work on it.
Standing Deep Breathing when done properly engages the core. Brings me life. Done properly sweat will be coming out of your pores before you finish the first set of 10. The breath I bring to my body then allows me to go deeper into each of the poses during class. Think about it. If you don’t breath then you’d be going into half-moon stiffer than a piece of wood, but with oxygen flowing through the body you’ll be able to move more smoothly into each element of the pose and into your heart and mind.
Concentrating on my breathing brings me greater awareness of my self, my soul, my emotions. It brings me closer to me. Engaging my core means I’m becoming more engaged in my life. I feel more alive. I feel my cells awakening. My muscles. My hopes. My dreams.
When I breathe, I let go of expectations and live in the now. In the moment. And in that glorious oxygenated moment I am ME. And that’s all I ever want to be. That’s all I’m working toward being.
So, if you’re bored with your Bikram (or whatever your fitness routine consists of), take a look at your breath and breathe new life into YOU!
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