“There is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity.
But the contradiction lies a little deeper than the mere conflict between the desire for security and the fact of change.
If I want to be secure, that is, protected from the flux of life, I am wanting to be separate from life. Yet it is this very sense of separateness which makes me feel insecure.
To be secure means to isolate and fortify the “I,” but it is just the feeling of being an isolated “I” which makes me feel lonely and afraid.
In other words, the more security I can get, the more I shall want.
To put it still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing.
To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.”
~ Alan Watts
How are your breathing right now? I’m smiling, because I was holding my breath as I read this.
When we bring awareness to our thoughts, feelings and especially our breath, we set the foundation for finding our middle ground and inner peace.
Holding our breath is a defense mechanism of the human body. It prepares us to react to a threat. However, it increases the tension and stress in the body, rather than bringing it to a state of balance.
In yoga we learn to deepen the breath when sensation increases. We breathe through tension and discomfort and allow the energy to keep flowing, rather than contracting and adding more tension.
Yoga is an invitation to become present in our bodies. We connect mind to body via our breath. It helps us relax, breathe, feel, and where possible let go.
Ultimately this helps us make more skillful, conscious choices and allows us to feel grounded and secure in life.
And it all starts with the breath.
Find out more about yoga breathing by clicking here.