Posts Tagged ‘Saul David Raye’


Breath. Inhale, exhale, repeat. 28,800 times a day. Usually without effort or thought. Usually.

We all have those days where it’s hard to breathe. You can’t catch your breath, you are late and racing to get somewhere, you count to ten to quell a temper, you hold it in yoga to seemingly  get deeper into a pose when in reality it stymies you. We get stuck. What makes you hold your breath?

When my Mom was terminally ill, every day felt like a failure and I would hold my breath so I wouldn’t cry in front of her, in front of anyone. There were alot of no breathing days in those four months. That started a pattern for me that continues to this day: when I get upset or frustrated, or when I’m trying to do something that’s really hard, I hold my breath. It’s learned behavior. So how do we unlearn it?

One way is through Pranayama. Pranayama is breath work.  Literally it means  prana (life force or breath) and yama (regulating or causing a break). When we tune in to our breath we knowingly break our normal breathing pattern. And when we do that, we bring our attention back to the our internal rhythm and begin to notice the subtleties of movement in our body, and in our lives. A shift here,  a change there.

To paraphrase our wonderful teacher Saul David Raye and his thoughts on breath:

Inhaling is the Nourishment

The pause, that space between is the absorption

The exhale is the release, that moment of letting go

The pause before your next inhale is the void; the feasting, the savoring  of your breathe.

Again and again.

It may not happen overnight, but acknowledging the breath may change your patterns and how you feel and think.  And remember:

it’s okay to have someone or something take your breathe away. Just remember to bring it back.

Yoga is Hard

by Lori Mancini in Balance Practice Spirit work Yoga with 6 Comments

Yoga is hard.

No one tells you that. Naysayers say it’s all crunchy-granola, sitting in a lotus position and chanting a big fat Om. Ah, perception. And like perception, some is true and some…not so much.

Yoga is movement, changing the way we move through our  lives. It starts with the physical. As your body strengthens and lengthens, you get stronger, and incrementally more flexible. Until one day, you just  ‘get it’.

As you work through the physical, there’s an ever-so-slight mental shift, a belief in you. It’s a spiritual stirring that flutters in your soul, sometimes poking at the uncomfortable and unexpectedly bursting into an emotional flame, leaving you blindsidedly broken and inconsolable on the mat. An amazing yoga teacher, Saul David Raye says, ‘in the breaking there is a sweetness…’ Yoga pushes us to our edge, allows us to touch the darkness, feel its scary black velvetyness, makes us realize its not that scary at all and then pulls us through to the light. We heal, and learn, and move, and move on. Next lesson.

Yoga is hard. But it helps us learn to love our bodies for its strengths and perceived weaknesses. And then finally,  blissfully, we can learn to love our spirit and ourselves.