Review of the past week:
Last week we offered illustrations to connect yoga asana (the Sanskrit word for seat or posture) with components of Ignatian spirituality.
Practicing yoga asana invites use into greater awareness and aliveness in our bodies, especially when we consciously seek the middle point between effort and ease. Outside of yoga asana practice, tuning into our bodies in daily life by being aware of our posture and the sensations in the body supports us to slow down and experience the present moment.
Whether sitting at your desk or in prayer, standing in a line, or exercising, practice being a contemplative in action by cultivating awareness of your physical body and finding the balance between effort and ease.
The Week Ahead:
During the upcoming week, we will focus on the fourth limb of yoga – pranayama – which means restraint or control of the breath.
Pranayama is the conscious, deliberate regulation of the breath replacing unconscious patterns of breathing. It is possible only after a reasonable mastery of asana practice.
-Yoga Sutra 2.49, translation and interpretation by TKV Desikachar
In addition to supporting a deeper practice of yoga asana, or postures, pranayama breathing practices can create the conditions in our bodies and minds for deeper contemplation and prayer.
- How often are you aware of your breathing?
- How do your mood and thought patterns shift when you breathe more deeply and consciously?
- How does God breathe life into you?