Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Place your hand on your heart, and you can FEEL the beat. Close your eyes, be still, and you can HEAR the beat. This is breath, the prana that fills each and every one of us. The breath that fills our lungs does so to the rhythm of life.
Our breath pulses to a beat within that keeps every system in our bodies in tune; and when the beat stops, so does life. This breath is the music we make, the soundtrack of our life, the bass line (and baseline) to our practice.
The rhythm is going to get you.
Sound is one of our most sensitive five senses. We hear. Sometimes, we listen. But the message different for each person, because no one individual is the same. Our flow reflects the music we hear. Sometimes our movements find the rhythm effortlessly; sometimes they don’t. We can go a whole practice merely hearing the music, not listening until…? But when we listen, we consciously connect.
In yoga, it’s said that breath is key. When we get on the mat, we pay a little more attention to the song playing inside. We practice technique; we link breath to poses and awareness. Over and over, we use this beat to connect to our inner rhythm. But we don’t always feel the rhythm. At least I didn’t tap into it right away.
I can remember that during my first yoga class, the music was LOUD. The beat (my breath) was banging, and I was barely hanging on to my mat for dear life. I was out of sync, almost deaf to my own sound. Movement came before rhythm, or at least it did for me.
So I practiced…a lot. I reminded myself to consciously breathe; I had to LISTEN to my own beats, my own breath, and my own song. I had to clear out the internal barriers I put in front of my speakers. In time, I began moving with purpose, poise and awareness. I had to find the rhythm that was always there.
Breath pretty much did what it wanted until four months into consistent diligent practice. Then, as I found command, something changed. I found my flow. Poses became unlocked as I synched breath to this melody embedded in movement.
I connected to the music within and became active in the creating.
Beyond just linking breath and movement, I began to tap into the connection of my feet to the mat, my body to my soul, and my heart to others. I became vulnerable and sensitive. There were times I felt my emotions bubbling up at the start of a class, and 75 minutes later I’d find myself flat on my back with tears streaming down my face.
Most of the times, it’s during savasana that my body settles enough to hear the life beat STRONG and loud. I listen and I link my strongest emotions to the song in my heart. This connection runs deep, and sometimes tears flow. The song, the music, the rhythm gets me; that’s what happens when we listen.
How does music affect your practice? Does it bring you closer to or distract you from your inner rhythm?
When we get on the mat and practice linking breath and movement; the music plays for us, then by us. We become the artist, the MUSICIAN. And even if you feel like you can’t get the rhythm immediately, have no doubt. The rhythm is going to get you.
Today’s mash-up comes from yours truly, DJ Sukha, just for the Yoga Modern Community! The tune mixes a haunting yet beautiful sound with a soothing chant. The overall feel is an ethereal duet of two worlds that find harmony as one. Click here to listen, and…
Let the rhythm get you.