The quest for mindfulness: Return to your breath

Thursday came and with it my very first official Dynamic Yoga class with Tatjana. I was strangely nervous, wondering if I was going to suck or not. Intellectually I know yoga practice is not about being good or bad and more a case of being aware of ‘where you are at’, as ‘where you are at’ is inherently value free. I guess the expectations I was putting myself under was not necessarily the best intention to start with.

At the beginning of the class Tatjana asked us to set the simple intention of giving our best. This was a welcome reminder to me, as one of my own training mantras when I was a skater and coach was “Your best changes from day-to-day, so no one can ask you to give anything more than your best”.

I was pleasantly surprised that I was indeed able to keep up with the class and really enjoyed the intensity of the class. Tatjana built up every sequence like a conductor and her orchestra – from a gentle ebb into a crescendo that was led by the fervency and pace of breath. Just as the sequence hit its peak, she introduced a moment of stillness to allow us to take in exactly how we were feeling and ‘where we were at’.

These moments of stillness made surprisingly aware how annoyed I was actually feeling. My trousers kept exposing my butt crack to the whole class and my tank top smelt weird, and my constant preoccupation with these two things through the practice detracted from what I was trying to do, which was yoga. Which also annoyed me.

This awareness of how distracted I actually was, even though I had previously I thought was quite still when coming into the class,  further intensified once we hit the meditation stage at the end of the class. Charting literally just 1 minute of the 10 minute meditation practice below,  lets just say I have a way to go with meditation:

*breathing mindfully*

Concentrate on breathing – hmm Christ Bee your tank top really really stinks! – wonder if anyone else can smell me – oh you’re wondering off – return to your breath

*breathing mindfully*

Deep breath – breathe deeply and with ease – breathe just like when you are waking up in the morning – well in the morning I have an enormous cat on my chest – awww Nooni (my cat) I love the smell of his little paws in the morning – damn you’re wondering off again return to your breath.

*breathing mindfully*

Should I first practice guitar when I’m back home and then cook or the other way around? – I really want to eat pasta and pesto, but I had that yesterday – who cares, pesto is fab, eat pesto again – you’re off again – return to your breath.
*Breathing*
Arrrghhh bloody email from those ****heads – that’s putting me in a bad mood – don’t let those ****heads invade this space – return to your breath.

*breathing mindfully*

I think I’m getting the hang of this meditation thing – hmm wonder if my hands are positioned correctly – I’ll look at Tatjana – nope my fingers don’t look like hers – does the positioning my hands effect how effective the meditation is? – I wonder if being good at meditation is like that kid/oracle from the Matrix who could bend spoons with his mind – bending spoons is so pointless I mean if you had that level of power of mind why would you be bending spoons or why is the spoon used as a perceptual metaphor in the film? – yikes Bee, seriously you’re off again – return to your breath.

*breathing mindfully*

Seriously Bee, the Matrix? what are you 15? – return to you breath

*breathing mindfully*

*breathing mindfully*

*breathing mindfully*

 

Am I actually breathing or thinking of breathing? – ah Jeez… – return to your breath dammit.