Inhale from the tips of your toes

WARNING: The video may not be for you if you are squeamish. Personally, I find information about human anatomy to be a great way to deepen my practice, but I know it’s not for everyone. So, that being said…

Conscious breathing is the foundation of my yoga- the yoga I practice, the yoga I teach, the yoga I carry with me throughout my day. Pause right now and bring your attention fully to your breathing for 5 slow, deep breaths.

How did that feel? Did anything open up that seemed stuck before? I don’t find many situations that can’t be elevated by taking a deep, conscious breath before you step into them.

That is most likely why I love this video so much. It is one of the lessons from my teacher training that has stayed most alive for me- transforming my body and breathing awareness in such powerful ways.

Often in my classes, we take a good, long pause when we first come to stand in tadasana. I like to take my time to build the pose from the ground up, beginning with the soles of the feet connecting with the earth.

I was teaching a new student last week. She’s relatively new to yoga, but she is already great at staying present in her breathing. In fact, she asked me several times about ways to connect more deeply with her breathing. I had to become that much more present and aware in my practice to answer her.

One of those moments was when she asked me about breathing in tadasana. The ‘deep front line’ guy immediately popped into my head. As I was finishing my teacher training last year, I was simultaneously training for my first 5K. During my training for the race, every run became a kind of meditation on tadasana.

I’m not so young and springy as I used to be. In order to keep things from creaking and popping when I ran, I tried to stay fully in my body as I took each stride. I took the lessons I had learned during ‘quiet time’ in tadasana and hit the road with them. I felt better acquainted with every bone in my foot. I had a better understanding of the muscles in my leg. I remembered the ‘deep front line’ guy and took each inhale from the soles of my feet to the tip of my tongue- drawing strength and power up from the ground below. Just like I had done in tadasana.

Try it after you watch this clip. Stand up straight and tall in tadasana (barefoot is best). After you feel settled into the pose, take a few deep, conscious breaths- feeling as if you are drawing each breath up through the soles of your feet.

Namaste!

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