One of the required readings for our yoga teacher training is Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff. I’ve only finished the first chapter which focuses primarily on breathing and the muscles associated with the important bodily function. As I read, stopping occasionally to write a flash card or highlight a particularly interesting or important passage, I couldn’t help but pause to try and wrap my head around how amazing the human body is.
There have been many times that I have been in awe of the human body – every time I finish a challenging run or when my sister who is a new mother explains how women are able to create breast milk based on what their baby’s body needs at that time – and even still the awe of this realization has not been diminished. If possible, the wonder that arises the more I learn about our physical bodies has only grown exponentially.
Did you know that when we breathe we are not actually pulling air into our lungs? Breathing is actually the process of our diaphragm contracting, which increases the volume of our lungs and lowers the pressure allowing air to be pushed in by the weight of the planet’s atmosphere.
In other words, you create the space, and the universe fills it.
I love this description of breathing because I believe it applies to life in general. If you focus your energy on something, you are essentially inviting it into your life. The practice of setting an intention is so important because you are focusing on something you want to work on or achieve. That’s not to say that simply by thinking about something it will magically make that thing happen. To me it’s more like the opposite of saying “out of sight, out of mind.” If you focus on something, feel it out, see it in your mind’s eye, you will be creating a space in your life for it. And just like when you create space in your body for air, if you put in the work there is no way that the space will not be filled in with what you need.
It’s probably the intrigue of this sort of mind/body connection that really brought me to yoga in the first place. And I’m glad it did because all of this learning through yoga teacher training has been a really fun exploration – being able to connect the way I feel after a yoga practice with what’s going on in my body on a more scientific level. I’m glad that learning more about yoga has brought me down the path of becoming more connected to my body, developing a deeper gratitude for what my body is capable of and learning how to take better care of myself physically.