Breathe Ben

I'm always reminding my students to breathe in class. Not that they've stopped breathing because they'd be dead if they had but more specifically to be aware of the breath. To breathe into the places of tension and difficulty. It's very helpful. Yesterday I raced through an emotional barrage of morning pain, then into hope and relief via my yoga mentor, down into disappointment, fear and frustration with an osteopath and back into pain and despair. Then I went home and my woman asked me whether I was breathing into the pain. Of course I bloody am, I thought. Then I realised the opposite was true. As I reflected on it for a moment I realised quickly that I had been breathing away from the pain all day. All week. All year. Resisting it. Trying to avoid it. Holding my breath in the hope that it might go away. I wept with this realisation. Then I said 'you don't understand' to which she quickly reminded me how she gave birth to our two sons with no other intervention than her own breath. Then she sat with me and helped me to stretch my psoas and contact the pain and guided me to breathe into it and stay with it. It was scary, and painful and helpful. Tara helped me to remember a basic and profound wisdom, for which I'm deeply grateful. I need reminding of this every day whether I'm in pain or not. Stop, focus within, take a breath.

Ben Parkes1 Comment