As the year started, and I was contemplating my dedication and focus for 2014, both in yoga and in my life, there was a word coming repetitively to my mind: breath. I decided to dedicate this year to its study, observation and expansion; to let my practice to be more deeply guided by this dance of the Shakti that is the constant pulse between inhalation and exhalation and the spaces in between.
Decided also to slow down the traveling, and living in Morocco, from where is not so easy to follow the rhythm of yoga studies of the last 15 years, I signed up for some yoga courses on-line, some of them with teachers who I barely knew, fully following my intuition. All of them are helping me to deepen my relationship with the breath in various ways: through pranayama (see definition in Newsletter Inspiration); the use of breathing in Yoga Therapeutics; anatomy and the observation of the shape changes that happened in the body with the movement of the breath; the practice of vinyasa flow; or the meditation techniques from ancestral texts that use the breath as an instrument for the expansion of Consciousness. I am deeply grateful to Sally Kempton, Leslie Kaminoff, Noah Mazé, Christina Sells and Gioconda Parker.
There is always a mix of excitement and even fear about how the Universe will manifest its teachings when I ask a question. My curiosity about the breath brought a double tremble to my being. So I cannot really say that I was surprised when the year started marked by my father´s bad health. Instead of experimenting with the apnea below the Moroccan waves, I have spent nights in a hospital pending on his breath. Then, after a very traumatic surgery, today it is a month since I have been seeing him sleeping connected to a automatic respirator. During this time, I have hold my breath many time listening the news from the doctors. I have felt the lack of air in my lungs and literally I have been unable to breath. Wow! I experienced what people feel when they are anxious. I never thought it was so, so physical! I observe how my breath changes many times during the day: when I wait for the doctor news, when I visit my father every day wishing for him to open his eyes and look at me, when I sing healing mantras, during some nights when sleeping gets difficult. Even hoe my breath is different some days during my practice. Paradoxically, although I am also dedicating myself to the practice of pranayama, some days my study of the breath is to deal with the changes that happen in my breath due to the tension, confusion, anxiety, sadness and the giant fluctuations of my family emotional state. A great reminder of how the breath is prana, the breath is life. A tangible experience of how the energetic body (PRANAmaya kosha) interwaves with all the rest: with the physical body (anomaya kosha) and with the mental and emotional body (manomaya kosha). How a moment perception changes when I see it from the infinite questions of my mind (manomayakosha) or in the moments in which I am able to connect with a bigger vision (vijnanamaya kosha) and how this affects the rhythm and quality of my breath and helps me to connect with a place of deep calm and tranquility (anandamaya kosha).
Still immerse in this experience is difficult to get all the lessons and teachings. I am sure they will keep on showing as sparkling jewels. But now I can express with clarity a deep gratitude. Gratitude to the practices of the past years that are helping me (and my family) so much in navigating this tortuous waters with a great inner calm. And my gratitude to all of you there, some close by, others sending your warmth and support in many different ways. Your energy is felt and appreciated. We live in a bubble of love that comforts us and gives us strength.
I would like to apologize for any non-answered emails, for any delay. I try to attend to the most urgent things and walk day by day. I don´t want to put the excuse that I don´t have energy. Sometimes that is totally true. At other times, it is simply that I feel this moment as so important, so sublime, so sacred that is bringing me very inside and there is the need to respect that. Slowly, as this moment is expanding itself in time, I am returning more and more to a relative normality. But still a big practice of living every moment, every step, every sadness, every smile.