Practice

I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience before…

Imagine you’re standing at the back of your rented vacation house, and you’ve just come home from the beach.

You have sand all over your feet and you want to wash it off.

You pick up your hose and the water is on a little more than a trickle.

You are holding the garden hose in your hands.

And the slight stream of water running through it isn’t enough to do the job.

You require more water.

So you bend down to turn the water pressure higher.

For some reason the water doesn’t start flowing any faster.

You look to the coil of hose and see that there is a kink in it.

The water is cut off, and instead of more water flowing through, there is less.

You untangle the cinched part of the hose –

you must if you want the water to get this sand off your feet.

The water is now able to flow more freely through the hose,

and there is greater water pressure.

But the hose isn’t quite tightned on straight at the base,

so there is water spilling out everywhere.

You reach down and tighten the hose firmly around the spicket so the water will all flow in one direction.

Now imagine all of the hoses you have running through your body.

Imagine all of the blood vessels: the arteries and veins.

Imagine all of the nerve fibers.

Imagine all of the organs, and their connections to one another.

Imagine the air passages.

Imagine the bones, wrapped around the bone marrow, the cells of new life in your body.

Practice without any sensation of pinching or squeezing the hoses of your body.

And imagine you are turning up the water at the spicket

as you breathe deeply and bring more prana,

more life force,

into your body –

into every vessel, every cell.

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About Joyce Englander

I teach weekly yoga classes in New York City, which focus on moving mindfully and gracefully with the breath. I believe that learning yoga is similar to learning a language, and the more you are around it the more fluent you become. This blog is an opportunity to share my thoughts and re-visit lessons from class; to create a bridge for students to translate their classroom experience into real life. I am interested in how practicing yoga can help to improve people's lives and reduce needless suffering.
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