This entry was posted on Apr 7, 2022 by Charlotte Bell.
Breath consciousness is foundational to mindfulness. Within the apply, we select an space of the respiration passage—the nostrils, chest or stomach. Then we relaxation our consideration in that place and observe the sensations of every inhalation and exhalation. Easy, proper? Anybody who has practiced breath consciousness is aware of that it might be easy, nevertheless it’s not straightforward. Our minds wander—quite a bit. This can be irritating, nevertheless it’s completely regular. Generally it’s a problem to get via even a single inhalation or exhalation earlier than our minds spin out. However typically, unbeknownst to us, the thoughts loses monitor in one other, typically neglected, part of the breath—the pause.
After every exhalation, there’s a pause. It is perhaps brief, a break up second. Or it is perhaps a number of seconds, relying on our personal distinctive respiration rhythm. The pause will be shorter or longer relying on the state of our minds and our bodies. Are we feeling anxious or agitated? Or are we feeling calm and concentrated? How does the state of the physique/thoughts have an effect on our respiration?
For instance, when my thoughts is calm and concentrated, my in breaths and out breaths are minuscule. The pause after exhaling will be 15 to twenty seconds. This makes breath consciousness rather more difficult. There’s barely any inhalation or exhalation to be conscious of, and a complete lot of “down time” for my thoughts to wander elsewhere. So how do you apply breath consciousness on this state of affairs?
Be Aware of the Pause
For me, the answer has been to acknowledge the pause as an equal a part of the breath. This helps me to take care of continuity of consciousness. However what’s there to be conscious of when there’s no precise respiration? Truly, quite a bit. At any given second, we’re just about being bombarded by sensation. All our senses are receiving enter.
For instance, through the pause, you may direct your consideration to your sense of listening to. Or if there’s not a variety of sound in your present setting, you may take note of sensations of contact—your hips and legs in touch along with your meditation cushion or chair; the contact of your clothes, and even the air round you, along with your pores and skin. Granted, a few of these sensations is perhaps refined, however tuning into subtlety is a part of apply.
You might additionally apply your breath consciousness specializing in the bigger body of your complete physique, relatively than a specific spot within the respiration passage. You compromise again into your physique, conscious of all of the arising and passing sensations all over the place in your physique. The inhalation and exhalation are merely two of the various sensations you expertise. While you apply this fashion, the inhalation, exhalation and pause join seamlessly. They’re all a part of the identical ever-changing tableau.
The Energy within the Pause
So being conscious of the pause helps you keep extra steady consciousness. However simply as essential, it offers you entry to consciousness itself. Pema Chodron famously stated, “You’re the sky. The whole lot else is simply the climate.” What she’s pointing to is nothing lower than our boundless nature. We’re consciousness. All of the sensations which are continuously passing via consciousness are the “climate.” However we are inclined to deal with the “climate” relatively than the sky. Opening to the pause permits us to relaxation in consciousness. We are able to start to discover consciousness itself—our true nature.
Listed below are a couple of ideas that is perhaps useful for settling into the pause:
- Begin your apply with a physique scan. Go to your complete physique, one space at a time. You can begin on the prime of your head or the soles of your ft. For instance, concentrate on your facial muscle tissues, scalp, mind, eyes, ears, jaw, enamel, tongue, throat, shoulders, higher arms, elbows, forearms, wrists, fingers, ribcage, coronary heart and lungs, diaphragm, stomach, contents of the stomach, low again, pelvis, hip joints, femurs, knees, decrease legs, ft. You may, after all, reverse this, starting along with your ft. Beginning with a physique scan may help you tune into your physique as a complete, so that you could expertise your respiration from a wider perspective.
- Set intention. You could discover it difficult to remain current through the pause. Giving consideration to sensations within the physique can appear unfocused, amorphous. Set an intention to remain constantly current—at first of every inhalation, every exhalation, and every pause. Whereas it might appear, at first, as if there’s nothing occurring within the pause, look just a little extra intently. Settle again into your physique, conscious of no matter is arising. Pay attention to the house round every sensation. Are you able to concentrate on consciousness itself?
- Follow in Savasana (Leisure Pose). Permit your self a 15- to 20-minute Savasana after your yoga apply. An extended Savasana offers your physique time to attain physiological leisure, which takes 10 to fifteen minutes. When your physique is at relaxation, it’s simpler on your thoughts to be comfy. The little bit of knowledge I keep in mind most from my research in India with B.Okay.S. Iyengar is when he stated, “We apply asana in order that we are able to create a peaceful, peaceable setting for the thoughts.” The state of spacious leisure is sort of actually the aim of yoga asana apply.
About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and commenced educating in 1986. Charlotte is the writer of Aware Yoga, Aware Life: A Information for On a regular basis Follow and Yoga for Meditators, each printed by Rodmell Press. Her third ebook is titled Hip-Wholesome Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache (Shambhala Publications). She writes a month-to-month column for CATALYST Journal and serves as editor for Yoga U On-line. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte performs oboe and English horn within the Salt Lake Symphony and people sextet Purple Rock Rondo, whose DVD gained two Emmy awards in 2010.