I laughed inwardly last week when I heard myself mentioning to Dan that I was a trained yoga teacher. The truth is, I haven’t had a steady yoga practice in a couple of years. There, I said it.
Part of the reason is that my body (on the inside) is filled with scars. My lungs, from malignant fluid. My abdomen, from tumors now gone, from cutting and stitching and clamps that still remain. But this isn’t the only reason.
The thing that keeps me from doing a yoga regularly is a fear of being still with my body, of breathing into it and feeling what’s there the way I used to.
Yoga, for me, used to be a path to inward seeing. Eyeballs on the inside. When I was preggers with Lil’ J, I could rest in supported child’s pose or sit in meditation and not only feel him in there but see him, see the energy field that surrounded him and how he curled snugly between my pelvis and my ribs.
Now when I do yoga, my inner eyes clamp shut when they travel anywhere near my abdomen. They do this because I had to leave my body several times during painful procedures and sickness. I learned to just check out of my physical self, float up out of it, and wait in a corner until the pain was over.
But now I’m fully back in my body, occupying every brilliant cell and healthy tissue. And my inward eyes are slowly opening again. Yoga is coming back to me.
So the next seed of intention for 2011 is renewal. I intend to renew my connection with yoga, one breath at a time.
I start with the breath because I know that taking one conscious breath per day has the power to transform. Seriously. If you stop once per day, close your eyes, and follow your breath all the way into your body, just feeling where it goes, then release, you’ll start to become attracted to the feeling. Then addicted. Then meditation happens. At least for me. I bet for you, too.
So I’ll start with a few conscious breaths per day, follow them throughout my healing, healthy body and begin to open my inward eyes again. The yoga will follow, and my connection to practice will be renewed. It’s my intention.
Here’s a beautiful video by Four Seasons Productions. It features Coleman Barks reciting Rumi’s poem, Only Breath. Enjoy with a few conscious breaths.