Our Breath is so elementary and yet has so much potential to reveal subtle knowledge about our lives when it becomes conscious and the focus of inquiry. It is possible to live one’s whole life without giving breath a second thought. When you are born, the very first action you take is an inhale, and when you die, the exhale is the last. The dualistic nature of the breath is a mirror of the dualistic way of matter driven by the forces of attraction and opposition.
A source of all suffering is to be trapped on one side of a duality. Notice the force of opposition in your life when you make something or someone the enemy to achieve security. (If you have trouble doing this, just tune into the news!) The way to achieve peace is to transcend or hold both sides of an issue in one space–i.e., if you feel trapped as a victim, own the ways you have been the victimizer, including the ways your culture automatically enlists you. Whatever we approach with unity can be resolved. Whatever we approach with duality only causes further conflict.
The practice of Nadi Shodhana, or alternate nostril breathing, is a simple, yet powerful practice to balance the dual forces in our mind, body, and emotions resulting in a deep centered peace. The ability to balance Ida and Pingala (the dual forces) and cause Prana to flow in the central channel of Sushumna (unity) is the most essential preparation for Meditation and Kundalini awakening according traditions of Yoga, Vedanta, and Tantra. For more information, see Swami J‘s discussion on his website. Another wonderful resource for breathing practices and in-depth knowledge of the impact of the breath on body, mind, and spirit is Donna Farhi’s The Breathing Book: Good Health and Vitality Through Essential Breath Work.
OM, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Peace to each and everything in this whole universe! May we all realize our non-dual essence, also known as love.
- Monday-morning class with Debbie Marquette. During June, Debbie will offer a class that focuses on alignment on Mondays at 9:30 a.m. This class is appropriate for beginners or continuing students who want to deepen their understanding of alignment in basic postures. The class will explore the fundamentals of alignment in back-bending, forward folding, twisting, and balancing. Modifications and options will be given to individually respect and challenge each student. Each class is independent, so if you cannot attend all four, join Debbie for any of them that fits your schedule. Or, if you have other commitments on Mondays, check the schedule for several other opportunities to practice with Debbie in June.
- Monthly talk and mediation session. Juanita will host this session on Friday, June 17, at 6:45 p.m. As always, there is no charge for this informal gathering, which provides an opportunity to ask questions about and discuss meditation and to experience a short meditation.
- Living Our Yoga Yin class. Angie and Alice continue this series on Friday, June 24, at 5:30 p.m. with a focus on the first niyama, Saucha (purity). This class incorporates readings and teachings to enhance students’ experience and to create conditions that may take them deeper into the mind, body, and spirit aspects of this wonderful gift of yoga. The traditional yin asanas remain the same as in our classic yin class.
For a full list of June classes, please see the online calendar or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place. Note, too, that we post daily updates on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.