By Megan Armstrong, 500 hour Bali yoga teacher training graduate
Go to the mat and find the fullness of your breath.
This is what I know to be yoga, no matter the emotions I am feeling, the thoughts I am having, or the physical challenges I am enduring. Go to the mat and find the fullness of your breath.
During my 200 and 300 hour yoga teacher trainings with Zuna Yoga, the most powerful tool I have learned is the beauty of the breath on the mat and how it shines into life off the mat. As the currents of life fluctuate, the grounding effects of the breath, in and outside of the practice, remain the same.
I begin with eyes closed, drawing the awareness of my mind to the natural rhythm of the breath, absorbing the essence of its ebb and flow. Observing the mind and body moment by moment, I gently guide the organic movement of the breath into a deeper space. Blossoming at the base of the spine, the inhale draws up the front of the body and inflates in the heart. On the exhale the breath slowly dispels through the entire body as I draw the navel to the spine. Through the entire journey of my yoga practice, this powerful Agni Raj breath quiets the distractions of the mind, fuels the body even as I tremble with the challenge, and finally guides my entire being into the complete, effortless stillness of savasana. Within this stillness, all layers of my mind, body, and spirit absorb the beauty of the breath and the energy created. Gently rising from savasana, I experience a humble sense of gratitude for both the practice and the greater place within the deepest parts of myself. Stepping off the mat and into a world full of chaos and noise, I am still. This is what I know to be yoga.