Skill in Action: Linking Awareness, Breath, and Movement

By BijaB

As choreographer Twyla Tharp says, "Put yourself in motion."

Life is movement. You can't stay in one place and continue the journey. So keep moving, but do it in style.


Choose a comfortable, warm place to practice, away from distractions. Bathe or take a shower first to wake up or to let go of the day's activities. Prepare to turn your attention to yourself. Wear loose, clean clothing, and have a mat, blanket, or towel on hand to define your "yoga" space.

Do your postures on the floor, a mat, or even a firm bed. Have a chair nearby to sit on between poses, during your breathing practice, or for use in adapting the postures. The only other equipment you'lll need is an open, relaxed, at-ease frame of mind. (If you don't have this when you start your practice, you will by the time you're finished!) 

Linking Awareness, Breath, and Movement

In all of the exercises, keep your breathing simple and you'll find that your breath comes naturally as you move. Your breathing should initiate the movement. Place your conscious awareness at the "origin of movement" by being very present in your mind as you begin to breathe. Your mind goes to your breath and the movement follows.The expansion and contraction of your muscles occurs via the movement of your breath. When your breath ends, your movement will stop naturally.

As you continue breathing and moving, notice how the relationship builds between the two. It's a kind of meditation, where your movement follows the continued flow of your breath. Keep your breathing soft, uniform, and reasonably long, and become aware of the stillness at your center, as everything merges into one.

This is "skill in action" — a fusion of rhythm, deep connection, and endless delight. It's like making a dance. As choreographer Twyla Tharp says, "Put yourself in motion."

Learn more about how mind, body and breath work together to drive personal performance in my new FREE eBook, It Takes a Culture.

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