Self-Practice: Bench Sitting

It is 70 degrees and I am breathing.

There is a slight breeze, cooler than my body temperature – and I shift back and forth between delighting in that sensation that magnifies the delineation between my skin and the air around me – and counting my breaths. I suppose, at some point in these moments, that maybe I should choose one or the other to focus on right now – and then I give over fully, to sensation… Only to notice at some point a shift in my breath (sensation too, of course) – this signals my brain and without thinking, I begin counting again, steadily, slowly inhaling 1, exhaling 1. Inhaling 2, exhaling 2. Inhaling 3… And then the air stirs across my neck, my jaw, my arms, and I leave the count behind once again.

There are decisions that happen here – of course there are, but for the moment I choose to let them slide and allow this (undisciplined?) shift back and forth – external sensation/internal sensation, conscious counting/conscious awareness of my skin. Undisciplined or not, when I make the mindful choice to move, I feel like a new person, more awake to this body and it’s senses, more aware of the sounds and sights and smells around me – damp earth and squirrels running, trees rustling and cars passing and sunshine breaking through the leaves, green and brown. More curious, open. Less heavy pondering. Lighthearted.

This is the kind of practice where there’s no need to stop, or transition between it and “real life” – it reminds me that it IS real life and this is me, in my body, present for the experience, always practicing.

This post is part of a weekly series about the realities, the challenges and the joys of self practice. For more posts in this series, click here

What’s your yoga practice like, today? This week? I would love to hear. 

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