Archive for ‘breathing’

June 19, 2014

Falling Out of Love with Yoga

by mandy lipka

Image

Every once in a while, it happens.

I fall out of love with my yoga practice.

And for the first few days, weeks, sometimes months, my mindfulness depletes– my glass lowers to mindless– and I start playing the “should” game. I should be breathing more and sitting less. I should increase my home practice when I can’t get to the studio. I should start meditating during the work day to alleviate stress. And so it goes…

In every meditation class I’ve taken, it’s a lesson learned. We must stop focusing on how it should feel, what we think we should happen, how often we should practice. And, you know, bring a little compassion into being mindful of ourselves. Sometimes all it takes is a moment to come back to ourselves… to our breath.

After a few weeks of more-than-usual melancholy (yes, of course, I’m feeling the effects of Merc retro), my most common stressor reared its ugly head again. I took a breath, checked the time, and realized I was only steps away from a sanctuary. To my bright-side surprise, I would make it in time for my most peaceful and wholesome yoga class.

A few things changed in the studio (including a sub) that at first, had me out of water. It only took a few deep and equal Ujjayi breaths in my beloved Supta Baddha Konasana before my breathing got deeper, longer, and the world washed away.

I set my intention: Come back to myself.

Nearly halfway through the class, it occurred to me how good this felt. My hip flexors open, my psoas juicy, my sacrum releasing deep tension. Plenty of oxytocin flowing. Damn, this feels good. So good I could feel my ladybits joining in the fun… It’s like amazing make-up sex but even more satisfying for the soul.

When you say something like [I love you] with your whole being, not just with your mouth or your intellect, it can transform the world. – Thich Nhat Hanh

As the class came to an end and I breathed into my feet up the wall, I felt a tingling in my toes, vibrations in the soles; and with a blanketing in-breath of lavender, it hit me…

Tonight, I came back to myself.

Photo credit: HalfMoonYoga.org

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April 12, 2014

Mindfulness Meditation: An Infographic

by mandy lipka

One of my most influential yoga teachers shared this recently. I simply had to pass it on.

Mindfulness Infographic

Photo Credit: YogaInspiration.co

March 13, 2013

Mindful Sip: Let Us Breathe

by mandy lipka

breathe

Word play is a wonderful thing. The Latin word spirare has given us not only “breathe,” but also the Latin word spiritus, which means both “breath” and “spirit.” A spiracle is a breathing hole used by dolphins and whales. So to inspire is to breathe in, and to expire is to breathe out. To transpire and to perspire are to breathe through, while to respire is to breathe again. To suspire (ever hear that one?) is to breathe from below, as in “to sigh.” To aspire is simply to breathe. Try connecting these ideas with the general idea of “spirit,” too; it’s an interesting thought experiment. Conspire, as you might imagine, is to breathe together. Let us breathe.

Phenomenal insights from a nameless meditation classmate. Definitely one to consider during practice.

December 14, 2012

Breathe it all in…

by mandy lipka

breathe it all in

On a worldwide tragic day like today, it’s really all we can do. If you’d like to take the extra step, try this. I just got back from a Hatha class and it’s keeping the sadness at bay, for now.

Om mani padme hum