Monday Mantras

Monday Mantras – take a breath

Strandbeest

Jen began a yoga practice a year or so ago by asking “What if (it) is as easy as breathing?”

Humans learn some complicated things without being taught and incorporate them unconsciously into daily lives.  Our most natural and perhaps best methods of learning are by imitation and trial and error.  Most of us walk and run, dance and ride a bicycle as easily as we breath. We articulate words without thinking about how to place a tongue on the roof of one’s mouths or purse one’s lips when we verbalize our thoughts. Most of us naturally draw sustaining breath into our lungs all day, every day.

What if it… if life… is as easy as breathing? I played a lot of competitive tennis growing up, characterizing myself as a certifiable head-case by senior year in high school. Playing at the college level was only possible when I developed skills that let my body do what I’d trained it to without my head interfering.  I recently found myself losing my game again. Hitting the ball loosely and creatively, playing well, became possible when I focused on my breath.

What if the difficult and the uncomfortable are as easy as breathing? The adaptation of alternative cooking and eating can be challenging.  Some of us have been given a medical diagnosis that prohibits a conventional diet. Some of us have come to our choices for practical, ecological or spiritual reasons.  Adherence to a strict diet can be as difficult or liberating as we let it be. We can let the practice be as easy as breathing.

Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests move with the wind.  His work may not be the best example of ease, but when the wind successfully interacts with his sculptures, their movement appears effortless.

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