Aparigraha: Second Round – Breathing practice (pranayama) and sadness

By listening, I have found that under my fear is great sadness.  Sadness that: I can’t save my daughter from her illness/condition, sadness about some things I would have done differently in raising my children, sadness about my daughter’s poor health and the unknown, sadness that my mother is dying, layers of sadness.  This is a surprise turn of events, as I have not even worked with my needs connected to these feelings.

And so my experiment evolves.  Holding my fear with lovingkindness, I find that perhaps it was easier to react in fear than to hold this great bouquet of sadness.  Perhaps I can now begin to let go of the beliefs that are tied to my fear and how I should or should not react.  Ah – now I found myself with new questions.

Jay Michaelson, in God in Your Body:  Kabbalah, Mindfulness and Embodied Spiritual Practice, builds upon the visualization of the Name of the Divine as our Body by the following breathing practice:

yod ~ empty all air – empty lungs – hold

hey  ~ breath in – fill with air – inhale

vav  ~ body full of air + extended – hold

hey  ~ breath – exhale

I incorporate this breathing practice into my daily practice, especially when the sadness feels so great.  Somehow it changes, softens, is part of my wholeness.  The journey continues.

As T.K.V. Desikachar, The Heart of Yoga states:

We begin where we are and how we are, and whatever happens, happens.