Who’s a yogi?

Anyone who breathes is a yogi. Actually, I’d like to expand that – anyone who breathes or has breathed mindfully is a yogi. It is possible to never stand on a mat balancing on one foot and still be a yogi. In fact, asana done mechanically and without attention to breath is just gymnastics. I think we’ve all experienced that in class – mind wandering to a past event in downward dog, focus wavering in tree pose, holding our breath during plank – it happens, even to long-time practitioners. That’s why it’s called a practice, not a perfect.

Spend one minute focusing on an object in front of you with your eyes about half-closed. This promotes soft muscles in the face. Make sure the jaw is loose, the teeth and lips are not pressed together, and your forehead isn’t crinkled. Or, close your eyes and do the same scan of your facial muscles, neck, and shoulders. Relax.

Whether the eyes are open or not, listen to the sounds of your breath. Feel the expansion of your lungs on your inhale, and the shrinking of them on your exhale. Before you know it, a minute or even more has passed.

One minute a day; try it.


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