Tis the season. While fun and festivities abound, many people find this time of year stressful. So…. Keep your workout routine on the schedule. Don’t skip it!
Before I opened my studio in Capistrano Beach, I taught pilates, yoga, and tai chi in the park at the University of California, Irvine for 10 years. As I began a new quarter and started with a new group of students, I always polled each individual on the first day of classes to determine the goal desired in taking the class. I was always rather surprised to hear so many young people telling me their goal was in taking pilates or yoga was peace!
But then maybe I wasn’t so surprised after all. In all mind body traditions, breath is an integral component of the practice. Most mind body traditions use what we call an audible breath. Which means?..... breathe loudly!
This might seem rather strange to the new comer, but those that have an established practice know very well that to get that sought, after glow of the practice, you must breath. If you breathe with your movements, you can achieve that peaceful feeling sometimes referred to as an endorphin high. Relaxed, clear minded, energized, and restored with renewed vigor.
You won’t be in our studio for long before you realize that all of our classes engage in audible breath patterns. From the Fletcher breath in Pilates to the Ujjayi breath in yoga…
So why am I such a big proponent of breath? I always think that if a bit of wisdom comes at you from several different traditions or disciplines, there you will find truth.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali says, “Calm is retained by the controlled exhalation or retention of the breath.”
In Return to life, Pilates says, “Correct breathing exercises under the dominance of mental control would undoubtedly accomplish more toward attaining and maintaining maximum health standards, than all other remedies combined.”
And with that I remember a lovely chant to the sun god… loosely translated as something like… with a calm mind I will take the appropriate action at the appropriate time. Your breath will bring you a calm mind. The more you practice… the easier it is to bring yourself to a calm mind. You will be more peaceful…happier…and enjoy more success in your life….
Shanti shanti …