Pause (2nd Edition)
Each breath provides an opportunity to briefly pause.
A pause is like a clearing in the forest. A refreshing well to drink from. A resource that is always within you.
This post is a republishing of the original “Pause - September 4, 2021” with a few upgrades :)
A Short Inquiry - the essential breath
This practice comes from Donna Fahri’s ‘Breathing Book’.
know your body, respect your limits, modify where needed - a key yoga practice
sit or stand comfortably in a chair
notice your breathing without altering it
let the breath be what it is
slowly begin to rest attention on the exhalation
let your awareness travel with the exhale — right to its end
gently continue to keep attention on the exhale for a few more breath cycles
enjoy the sensation of the breath effortlessly leaving the body
Explore the Movement #1 - notice with kind curiosity
notice what you notice with gentle kindness to yourself - another key yoga practice
have you begun to notice a slight pause at the end of the exhale?
if not, that is okay
please don’t force, let the breath be as natural as possible
allow yourself to relax with each breath
continue following the exhale to its end and simply notice
this is an inquiry, an investigation of curiosity
feel ease — be soft — be allowing
trust and surrender that the next inhale can arise out of the pause without a need to “grab” it
Explore the Movement #2 - short frequent mini practices
Work with your brain to recreate improved breathing habits. David Wilson, an Edmonton voice and yoga teacher, advises that one minute of breath practice 8 times a day is far superior to one breath practice a day of 8 minutes.
The brain assumes that whatever we do the most consistently is what we want and it will support us in this choice. Shorter time spans more often send the message to our brain that we wish to create a habit - to create new neural pathways. ~David Wilson
add notices on your phone and/or calendar to remind you to PAUSE after the EXHALE
If you have an Apple device, click here for a reminder list
If not, click here for reminder links via a google calendar
make this a practice you do in whatever space you find yourself in (eg. home, shopping, meetings, etc.)
Life can be uncertain and change unexpectedly. Since the original post climate issues have intensified world wide and Russia invaded Ukraine. Yet, we always have this pause within our breath that can refresh us. As I practiced the above breathing inquiry from Donna Farhi’s Breathing Book, it did indeed bring me a sense of calm and fresh energy to meet the day. May you too be enriched by the pause contained within you.
The pause in the breath is not generally taught in the average yoga class (or at least in my experience). During my teacher training while researching on-line, I came across yoga teacher Elizabeth Klarich who shared about using the pause in another way: Pause, Smile and Feel Good. It stuck with me. I encourage you to invite the ‘pause’ within your breath and within your yoga practice.
Within this pause there is no thought and no movement. You may experience it as a pregnant silence, much like the silence you feel when you enter a forest. The new breath arises out of this pause. The next moment arises out of this pause. The inhalation is born out of the stillness of the pause and the exhalation dissolves into the pause.
This pause is a well, a resource that is always available to you. Know that at any time when you feel tired or confused, hurried or overwhelmed, you can draw from this well for rest and replenishment simply by entering the pause at the end of the exhalation. Without anticipating or projecting the outcome of the next moment, can you wait and see what the next breath brings?
(the Light in me honors the Light in you)
choose to move into a PAUSE, and then let the next inhale naturally arise May you be enriched by the pause contained within you. be in AWE of AMAZING YOU
Thanks to my husband, Norm Ritter, for the above photo.
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Disclaimer: Be safe, know your limits and move wisely without causing harm to yourself. Information provided in this newsletter is for you to explore and discover how your body works. It is not to diagnose any medical condition. Please consult with a physician or physiotherapist if you have concerns.
Donna Farhi, “The Breathing Book”, page 9
David Wilson, “The Wilson Method - Breathing for Health & Longevity” e-book, page 21.
Donna Farhi, “The Breathing Book”, page 10