Here in Portland, Spring is in full bloom. The flowers are out, people have emerged from their winter hibernation, things are buzzing! Graduation (and the so-called rest of my life) feels like its hurtling towards me as fast as a comet in a cheesy apocalypse space movie. I feel like I can barely take a moment to breathe in between trying to enjoy the sun and sending of job applications to every possible new employer.
With all the energy and excitement of the turn of the season, I’ve noticed a change in my student’s practice. All of a sudden, we are practicing in a sunlight studio (instead of the cold dark), and students are bringing in a much different practice. They are ready to go, Go, GO! I feel this in their breath—the more excitable, shallow, chest breaths; as well as in the way their bodies seem to rush into postures. Before I can finish saying “Inhale to Warrior 2” students are already have taken aim, arms outstretched.
While I admire the enthusiasm, in my class and in my life, I want to say, Slow down! While I know I can’t stop time, I want to slow down enough to keep my mind in the present. I want my students to feel the full posture; to use the whole breathe to extend their arms, to notice the expansion and fullness that comes when one inhales completely into a posture, versus just jumping there. I want to feel and appreciate the full goodness of my life, right here, right now, instead of spending all of my present moments staring at my day planner and wondering what my future will hold.
My challenge to myself, and my challenge to you this week. Stop to enjoy a spring time flower (or slug, as my love-bug below is!) Take a full inhale, a full exhale before moving on. Use the season not simply as an excuse to begin dreaming of summer (guilty!), but as a time of its own. In your practice this week, see how fully you can connect your movements, letting the breath guide you, versus putting the body and breath in opposition. While it may not slow our days down, maybe, just maybe, it can allow you to savor the sweet things life offers.