January 7, 2013

Breath & Pulse as Soundtrack.


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Tip of the day:

Sometimes our breath and pulse are the best soundtrack.

I like to use music when I practice at home. Love it actually. I get distracted easily, and sometimes the focal point of having music helps me focus. In classes or even with a video, we have the teacher’s vocal cues keeping us on track. Sometimes without that, I get a little….drifty.

But today was the first day in what feels like forever that things were perfectly quiet. In fact, it was so quiet when I was ready to practice, that I noticed a strange sound.

I noticed the sound of my own breath.

I read something the other day, eschewing the overuse of Sun Salutations, especially in Vinyasa classes and practices. To me, spending some quiet time, even just a half-hour, going through Surya Namaskar A or B over and over is like a meditation set in motion. And for many, that is the purpose of having a yoga practice.

So, silently, listening to my breath, listening to my pulse, I saluted the Sun, over and over.

Sometimes, it’s so effortless, it could almost be mind-less.

Just physical repetition, while the mind wanders to somewhere, something, someone else.

But if we let ourselves be fully present, the familiarity is freeing.

We are free to notice every breath.

We can enjoy every single beat of our pulse.

We can feel our muscles lengthen and contract.

We can just do this one thing: reaching upward, folding over, stretching and lengthening.

We can be completely in our bodies, in the present moment. Just this.

And tomorrow, I think I’m overdue for a nice long run, and will practice briefly after that. Or I may hit up a class I like or call a friend and go to acroyoga.

But for today:






Exactly what I needed.


Oh, and to answer a question I was asked recently about yoga books, these recommendations range from philosophy, to advice, to practice, to all of the above.

10 I love in no particular order:

Yoga from the Inside Out ~ Christina Sell

Yoga Anatomy ~ Leslie Kaminoff

Finding More on the Mat ~ Michelle Marchildon

Yoga for Emotional Balance ~ Bo Forbes

My Body is a Temple ~ Christina Sell

21st Century Yoga (anthology)

Yoga to the Rescue ~ Amy Luwis (cute silly, but fun)

Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit ~ Ana Forrest

Writing Yoga: A guide to Keeping a Practice Journal ~ Bruce Black

So, I purposely omitted the “classics.” Patanjali is important. It’s great to read scholarly texts on yoga. These are 10 books by current teachers and practitioner than I enjoyed and/or found helpful.


What was your practice like today? Are you doing #yogaeverydamnday this month? Check back for my updates and follow along on Twitter @kate_bartolotta and Pinterest.


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