Thursday, March 26, 2009

Breath - the essence of yoga

This is the name of a book I found on the shala bookshelves; the author is Sandra Sabatini, who began yoga in 1975.  

After the birth of two children, she sought out Vanda Scaravelli to help her unlearn things that were not helping her.  She had a strong passion for yoga, and yet, at that time, felt utter confusion.

In the preface to the book, she says that Vanda taught her that the breath is the key, "an infinitesimal but incredible powerful laser capable of removing layers of encrustation."  

"To experience this is very often like being on the crest of an oceanic wave, a simultaneous feeling of resistance and delight.  

But if fascination prevails, then opening and unravelling follows.  Learning no longer comes from wanting to reach a goal or fulfill an aim, but from a gradual unfolding, an effortless blossoming."

And later, in the introduction:

"you will find that [the] observation of your breath
opens a door to the unexpected.
this simple instrument will lead to infinite discoveries.
when you are in a difficult situation, if you are in pain, or when
everything seems to fail, you can reconnect to your breath and find relief.
as you learn to be in its company all the time, you wonder how
you could have forgotten it for so long."

[written in 1999]

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