"Let your breath be your anchor" - @meganelizabethyoga
Megan teaches Yin, a style of yoga where you hold the posture for minutes at a time. The purpose of this style is to slow down, allow your body to open slowly, and calm the mind. There are many physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits to this practice. It is very healing to stay in posture. It gives your body time to receive what it needs.
When you are holding a pose, there are moments when you want to release. It may feel uncomfortable on your hips, and you may feel different sensations in your body. As Megan says, “once you want to release the pose, that’s when the pose begins”. It’s surrendering to the practice over and over again.
Flash forward to the middle of class, where you may be in pigeon for over 8 minutes now, but who’s counting? :) Time and space have no place in Yin. It is one full experience of the present moment. Your mind may race with thoughts; the sensations in your body may be intense. And the only tool that you have in your breath. Your breath becomes so prominent in Yin as it serves as your anchor. It serves as your friend, your prana, your soulmate; the only force you have to get through the pose.
Your breath is the destroyer of the ego - when you concentrate on breathing, you detach from thinking. You become present and in the here and now. And in the here and now you become more aware of your body, your aura, your intention, your practice. The story that we create fades away. We take control of the sensations in our body we recognize we are in a state of impermanence. It’s ok to be uncomfortable. It’s ok to feel our body open. What matters is what we are saying to ourselves in the moment. Are we thinking kind thoughts and treating ourselves with compassion? Or are we judging ourselves and looking around the room to compare. Our ego loves to compare. Don’t let it. Concentrate on your breath. Let your breath be your anchor in the ocean of your life. And with each breath, you get more present, more connected to your divine source energy which lives in you and in all things. The vastness of the present allows us to experience peace and everlasting energy. And just like that, the posture is over and you feel the bliss of the release. But Yin is not about letting go of the pose. It's about what you're doing when your holding on.
Let the breath be your anchor. Not just in Yin, but every day. Every moment. When your mind is racing, when there are a lot of things going on, just stay. Just stay and take deep breaths. It will ground you, bring fresh energy into your body, and in that moment of stillness and presence you will know your next step. What you learn on the mat you can take in everyday life. And it all starts and ends with you.