So, it’s ‘all change’ again in beckymayhem world. Friday saw me packing up my belongings into two car loads and shifting digs for the eighteenth time this decade (I apologise to all those people whose address book’s ‘M’ page now resembles an ink sneeze). I am now a proud resident of the posh end of Royal Leamington Spa, no less, and can see the Stonemonkey Yoga Studio from the front door, which made arriving at my 9:30am class this morning a breeze… 🙂 (NB – student stats update: I am pleased to say I DOUBLED my figures of people attending my morning class this morning. Yes, that’s right – I had two attendees. If this stupendous trajectory of growth continues I shall be turning them away in droves…)
Anyway, when I arrived in my new room on Friday, I was greeted by the sight of one of the two beautiful Maine Coon cats that live here languishing on my bed. It was a good sign – I have missed living with animals a lot (although some of my recent housemates weren’t far off… Ooh, saucer of milk!).
Speaking of animals and new chapters, my move almost coincided with the Chinese New Year yesterday, which heralded the end of the Year of the Dragon – a notoriously rocky ride. I don’t know about you, but for me 2012 did see highs and lows not dissimilar to the celebratory yet slightly sinister undulations of a festival Chinese Dragon. We’re now into the Year of the Snake, which sounds no less undulating, but this time on a horizontal, slithery plane. Hmmmm, I’m not sure quite what all of that means – I think I’ve just eaten too much sugar. Still, I’ve always loved snakes, so will be embracing the reptilian new vibe.
As well as moving house, I also spent the weekend at my Thai massage course. I always come away from these weekends feeling fired-up and inspired, my head full of new knowledge and thoughts. During the anatomy section of the weekend, we were studying the respiratory system, and I was reminded that inhalation and exhalation can also be described as inspiration and expiration. This seems somehow very apt, but in a way that I have yet to fully crystallise in my mind. So, for the time-being, here are some rambling thoughts on the matter:
One definition of ‘inspiration’ is ‘stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity’. Have you ever stepped outside, taken a deep lungful of air and felt a rush of positivity and, yes, inspiration? Expiration means ‘the act of coming to a close; termination’. If we didn’t breathe, yep, we’d terminate, and with no ‘all change’ option.
The deeper I go into my yoga, the more I come to appreciate the immense importance of the breath. Obviously, breath gives life – we can only survive for around 2-3 mins without it (unless we’re one of those freaky free-divers with lungs like hot air balloons). But more than that, it is an incredibly powerful tool that, if we harness it properly, can change our mood and can effect physical changes in the body – for example by slowing the heart-rate down.
Anyway, more on breath when I’ve processed my thoughts from the course – it all became rather confusing when we started talking about the lungs being part of the parasympathetic nervous system yet also being a musculo-skeletal function that can be altered by conscious thought. I felt a bit out-of-my-depth, as if I’d accidentally entered a free-diving competition. So, I shall go off and take some deep breaths in my new room and see if inspiration leads to inspiration… 🙂