26 Jun BOOK OF LIFE – CHAPTER # 5- ITS ALL CYCLES
All good things come to an end. And so do all the “bad” things too.
We all share these experiences. Don´t we all know the feeling of relieve when a dreadful situation comes to an end, when a disease or pain is gone, an unpleasant encounter or an unhealthy relationship is over? When a hunger is stilled? Or a far to hard day passed by and we can finally put our head down on our pillows and enjoy falling asleep?
As much as we enjoy the ceasing of an uncomfortable or straining event or workday, as much we might often feel sad or even resistant when a pleasant event, a relaxing holiday, a satisfying project or a love affair is over.
And sure we all know that we cannot hold onto anything in this life. Everything seems to change, sooner or later.
Nothing is permanent. Its easy to intellectually understand the changefulness of nature, of life on this planet. But do we really deal with it? Do we really embrace it?
As a yoga teacher I often teach the reality of changefulness by becoming aware of the breath. Each breath is like a life journey on its own: an inhale arises, an exhale releases. Where does the inhale come from? Where does the exhale drop into? Each inhale is like an impressive sunrise, each exhale like tender sunset. As the inhale travels like the sun towards a peak, so does the exhale slowly draw back to the night. In between there, is the momentum of change, this interesting but also tricky phase of transitioning, where we left on spot and didnt arrive on the other side yet.
Have you ever wondered why? And more so, what does it really mean?
And have tried to hold onto your breath?
Lets just do it now: sit comfortably, spine straight, belly and shoulders relaxed. Take a deep breath in and HOLD!
Just hold it in. Keep holding, don´t cheat, keep everything in, don´t allow the slightest breath to escape! What do you feel? Keep holding your inhale, keep it, keep it in. Come on, don´t give up, you can do it. Keep it , keep it, keep it, hold onto it, its your precious inhale. Don´t give it away. You can do it.
Just a little longer, try harder, how long can you hold it?
And FINALLY you have to give in, the pressure is to much. You feel like exploding and at the same time you felt as you would suffocate.
What a huge relieve it is to simply exhale, to simply let go, let go of pressure, of something that doesn’t nourish you anymore.
With the inhale we are taking oxygen and prana in – the stuff we need in order to survive. Without oxygen our bodies die within a couple of minutes.
Interestingly the stuff that we need so badly has a kind of expiring stamp on it. Its only nourishing until a certain period of time – it has a job to do and after a while, when the job is finished, the good stuff turns into toxin; from oxygen to carbohydrate.
In the case of our breath it is easily understood, that we need both, the taking in and the letting go.
In life this isn´t so obvious anymore. Due to our conditioning we develop patterns, patterns of likes and dislikes. We are creatures of repetition. Just reflect on how often we breath in and out – its around 21.000 per day. So often we are doing this automatically, so we don´t notice, we are used to it.
If we repeat certain things, like entertaining thoughts for a certain amount of time without being aware if it, it easily turns into a habit.
And this is good too, as otherwise it would be very difficult to live in our complex society and contribute to it. Just imagine your breath wouldn’t be automatic and you would have to remember to inhale and to exhale? How many other thoughts could you follow and in how many other things could you engage in?
And even less dramatic, how about going to sleep? We might forget about our sleep from time to time or wish we need less hours of sleep. Our parents tried hard to get us to bed in the evening, trying to train us into a cycle of daytime and sleeptime. And then brushing teeths, drinking tea etc…
Don´t we do this because we just do it? It isn´t a big deal, right!
So habits are not bad per se, they help us having more space for other things as we don´t need to spend energy onto thinking, contemplating about basic survival tasks. We just do it and don´t have to make a fuss around it. We don´t need to bother.
But of course we also develop habits that aren´t serving us to well. Some simply dry out , like an inhale becomes toxic for us after a while. We might struggle with some of these, especially when they were our companions for a longer period of time.
All of them did serve a certain purpose and often enough, no matter how unhealthy they might be, they still helped us cope with life challenges. They were strategies to survive, and often get toxic when we hold onto them even so the situation is different now.
Coming back to the breath. Allow its teaching to sink in. We need to refresh our bodies, minds, hearts, attitudes, perspectives, behaviours again and again. Checking in with what is supporting you in this particular phase of your life. This has to be done again and again, over and over, just like we have sooo many breaths to take.
join our next round of workshops to align yourself with the cycles of life
EMBRACE YOUR NATURE – A journey thru the Koshas, the layers of your being –
August 11. from 2pm-5pm @ QiYoga
UPSIDE DOWN – headstand workshop to change your perspective –
August 12. from 9:30am -12 @QiYoga
THE BHAGAVAD GITA – Teachings of Life with Sri Mansoor –
August 16.& 17. from 2pm-5pm @ QiYoga
AYURVEDA & YOGA – the Cycles of your Nature –
Sept. 1.& 2. 9am-12 & 2pm-5pm @ QiYoga
Each breath represents a cycle on its own, its a microcosmic reminder of the macrocosmic cycles of life, a reminder of the fact that all things we can touch are changeful by their nature, all these are born, unfold and eventually come to an end, just to be reborn again.
What does that have to do with your book of life? It´s all cycles babe … to be continued