Too many thoughts might be confusing if you intend to choose something specific. What happens is that instead of having all of the ideas working together to help you find a good topic to write about, for example, these thoughts challenge us in a way that is gets difficult to make a choice.
It is even funny that, as human beings, we have the tendency to think too much to make a choice, then we get confused and sometimes lost in so much thinking. What can happen is that we end up complicating things that are supposed to be simple and easy. Moreover, we end up making improper choices in life.
We “think” that we need to be overwhelmed with lots of choices to make and too much thinking in order to make our lives powerful and meaningful.
Breathing and thinking
This week’s post is about breathing and the importance of proper breath and this topic goes very well along with the observations above. Why is it so hard for many people to sit still and breathe? Why it is so difficult to let go of that unstoppable inner voice and simply observe our feelings and sensations, so we can really listen to what we truly want/need?
The mind is constantly playing tricks on us, creating illusions, fears, judgments, assumptions, expectations, which just aren’t part of who we really are, what we want, and what we are capable of. The more we think, the far away we get from our own self.
Yoga teaches us how to find a breath that is proper to quiet the mind and relax the muscles. Ujjai breathing is the breath of yoga, most likely known as the breath of fire, which calms down the nervous system, as well as creates internal heat and gives the amazing sensation of relaxation and peace. The breath on yoga is where the magic happens. Without the proper breath, there is no transformation in the mind, only in the body.
The real transformation happens in the mind, not in the body, but it happens through the breath soothing the physical body. The breath is an essential component both inside and outside the yoga room. Everything we learn on the mat, we can apply to our daily lives. The awareness of the breath that we experience while we are practicing yoga is crucial when we face a stressful situation. It teaches us how to be non-reactive and remain calm on that situation, so we can think properly and make the best choice to deal with that situation. When we are reactive, we act based on emotions and/or feelings which are generated from the mind. So we react based on an illusion, which is definitely not who we are.
Outside the yoga room
Without necessarily being in a yoga room, start noticing your breath. Just observe how fast you breath, regardless what you are doing. I encourage you to start slowing your breath down, even if is just for a few moments.
Close your eyes and take slow deep breaths through the nose, with the lips sealed, in a count of 3 to 5 seconds. Then, notice how you feel. The results are pretty impressive and you will see that your mind and body have no way out but to surrender and relax. Remain with your eyes closed, and notice your thoughts. If they arise, just notice, and let them go, deepening the breath and enjoying the stillness of the mind. Practice this exercise as much as you can throughout your day, especially if you feel overwhelmed, tired or confused.
Practicing this breathing exercise in a yoga posture is even more beneficial. 3 options are highly recommended:
1. Sukhasana or Seated Pose: seat comfortably with legs crossed, pressing your sit bones down to the ground. Your hands can rest in your thighs, with palms facing up. Sitting against a wall helps to create a tall flat spine. Relax your shoulders down away from your ears, open the chest, and scoop your belly towards your spine. Press the crown of your head towards the sky.
2. Savasana or Corpse pose: lying down on your back. Arms are down to your sides with palms facing up. Legs are open wide, with heels in and toes out. You can also bring the soles of your feet to touch, and the knees open wide like butterfly wings.
3. Balasana or Child’s pose: spread your knees wide with the big toes touching behind you, or you can bring your knees together to touch, and sit over your heels. Relax your forehead and your shoulders to the ground and extend your arms forward or towards the back with palms facing up.
Please let us know how you feel!