A Yoga Pose, the Breath and Other Musings

This week has been busy, so the opportunities to sit as long in meditation as I would like have been scarce, but whenever I do sit, I can "plug" in and go deep, so I am looking forward to spending a little more time sitting next week...

Lately, I have had a wonderful sense of spaciousness and dropping the body during meditation - at times sensing only pure consciousness and experiencing everything as being mere atoms colliding and dancing with each other. It is nothing short of exquisite - or as a dear friend is fond of saying - delicious!

Once more, I feel like something has shifted, and I am enjoying this next stage and phase of my life...

My dreams seem more vivid as well. The night before last, I dreamed of doing the yoga pose - "Niralamba Sirsasana" - or, a "hands free headstand." In this pose, you are balancing upside down - on the crown of your head - with your hands by your side...

Mind you - I have NEVER done this pose - much less attempted it! Yet in my dream - I kept doing it - holding it for long periods of time - and it was effortless! I would come down - and then go back into the pose. I wonder if this means something? Hummm...

I often dream of doing challenging poses that elude me, but this pose was a first. It is not even on my list of poses I would like to do! Often in my dreams, I know exactly how to get into a challenging pose. I can break it down, and when I wake up - it is no easier or anymore accessible than it was before - but still - the "taste" of this pose is very much present and with me. I have this very real sense that I have done such poses before...

I often like to tell my students that a pose is expressed inside of them long before it outwardly manifests. So, on some level, it has already been accomplished even if you've never actually gotten yourself into it. One of your subtle bodies has already attained it. This makes even more sense when one considers that we are actually multi-dimensional beings.

Maybe I had this dream, because earlier in the week I walked the labyrinth with a dear friend, who is an amazing yogini, and her daughter - and I asked my friend to spot me in a handstand in the center of the labyrinth. I love doing inversions in the center after meditating!

I have also been thinking a lot about the breath the last few days as I read the book, The Miracle of the Breath, by Andy Caponigro. Specifically, my reflections have centered on the role the breath plays in meditation. The breath is so important - yet it is that pause between the breaths, which the yogic sages called, "kumbhaka," that I find so fascinating. It is that place that is so impregnated with the presence of God and is sometimes referred to as the "breathless state." It is a state that I am starting to taste as well - and I am getting glimpses into what it is like to spend some time there...

My experiences and musings led me to make a series of postings (or "tweets") on Twitter. I share them here for your own reflection and meditation...

"If one meditates on the pause
between the inbreath and outbreath,
one experiences divine consciousness."
~Vijnana Bhairava

"When there is effortless suspension of breathing,
there is pure consciousness.
Who reaches this state does not grieve."
~Yoga Vashishta

"A disturbed breath leads to a disturbed mind.
A steady breath leads to a steady mind.
Cultivate both."
~Hatha Yoga Pradipika

"An agitated mind produces suffering;
it doesn't know how to become quiet or still."
~Swami Muktananda

"Prayer is nothing but inhaling and exhaling
the One Breath and Spirit of the Universe."
~Hildegard of Bingen

"God breathed the breath of life
into man's nostrils and he became a living soul."


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