Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nostrils: The New Frontier

In Kira's class on Monday, she had us feeling the movement of our breath in our nostrils as we rotated our weight to the inner edges of the feet, then the outer edges, and back and forth. I have very insensitive nostrils and usually I'm lucky if they can even detect air moving in and out. I just figured they were defective. Casey, for example, and I don't think he'll mind me talking about him, has the most intricate knowledge of what all of his movements do to the flow of breath in his nostrils. I asked him about it, and he just shrugged and said something about doing a lot of Vipassana retreats. So I kind of resigned myself to exclusion from the world of my nostrils until I finally managed to find 10 days to go and do nothing but feel them.

As you may have guessed, this story is leading to the obvious conclusion...yes...I finally felt a significant connection between my feet and my nose. It was so weird that I immediately opened my eyes in a moment of belief and looked at Kira. Class was magical. It was so simple in that we didn't do any vinyasas and maybe one downward facing dog. But the effort of staying tuned to the incredibly subtle sensations in my nose--and letting that inform my movements-- had me sweating and feeling deep into myself. At the same time, it was so energizing. Rejuvenating. Like finding the source of true energy.

We practiced the same thing today in class, and I was sooo glad we did. Because I got to compare experiences. Today I kind of lost the connection to the subtlety in the nostrils. More accurately, my brain took over with its self-doubt, like, "you didn't really feel that; you just wanted to. you're creating the feeling through power of suggestion." My brain needs things to be really obvious before it will believe them I guess. For the longest time I was convinced I had never felt Prana. Hah! Now I feel it all the time. It's not as hard as I thought. I think of it as just 'the feeling of being alive.' Someone once told me, "Feel your feet in contact with the earth," and I must have frowned, squeezed my eyes closed, and tightened my jaw, because then she said "You're trying too hard. It's simpler than that." I think about that all the time with yoga instructions that ask me to feel something. Feeling: It's Simpler Than That. (New Patagonia t-shirt slogan? They can have that one for free)

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