I can see glimmers of the pink soft sun from behind a distant mountain as my eyes ever so slightly crack open.
It’s dusk and fog lays low above the rice fields. The air is crisp.
With a deep inhalation, I breathe in the scent of coconut husks burning their rich woody scent and exhale to the sound of running water and roosters singing their morning song.
Seated with my hands on my knees and my back straight and tall, we sink into silence.
A space where the breath is the centre of attention.
Thoughts rise and fall, rise and fall, but the breath is the constant.
The breath is where my mind returns. A dog begins to bark, but my mind returns to my breath. A motorbike passes, but my mind returns to my breath. Crickets start to cackle in unison, but my mind returns to my breath.
Seconds, minutes, moments, and chunks of time pass as my mind dances this elegant courting of attention meets awareness; a waltz of a different kind.
The prayer bowl vibrates with one loud gong, signaling the end of the morning meditation practice.
I rise to my feet, hands by my side. My gaze softly rests near my nose.
I raise my hands above my head and flow through the sequence, asana by asana, breath by breath.
Some poses come naturally with ease, while others challenge my posture and my muscles.
Sometimes I feel strong and flexible and other times, I feel feeble and restricted.
Every movement made on the right side is mirrored on the left, creating balance and equanimity in body and in the mind.
Every forward bend is complimented by a backward bend. Every flow, standing, sitting and inversion posture is aligned and supports the other, holistically aiding the movement of energy around the body.
It is the yin and the yang, the sun and the moon. It is the balance between opposing forces.
A sequence of transformation.
The sun now sits high in the sky and my body’s internal heat is burning.
I am connected.
I am connected to my breath. I am connected to my body’s movements, both its strength and its limitations. I am connected to my mind.
This is yoga. Union of the body, mind and soul.
I am currently in Bali doing my yoga teacher training, specialising in Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, with the group called It's Yoga Satellite. I highly recommend this program if you are considering becoming a teacher yourself. The support, structure, and learning will take you to new heights; personally, professionally and spiritually :)
Let's hear from you now. I want to know what's been your experience with yoga. Is it something you have recently discovered or have you been practicing for some time now? How does it make you feel? If not yoga, maybe another form of exercise that connects you to your breath (surfing, jogging, cycling, swimming). You know what to do. Pop in the comment box below. I'll see you there :)