In Meditations from the Mat, Rolf Gates speaks of the breath as a bridge between body and spirit. He reminds us of our capacity to use it to still the restlessness in our body, our mind, or both.
Full attention to the breath and the pauses between the breath draw us into now, the present moment. We are released from the burdens of the past and worries for the future.
This also applies in our asana work. There is no end game, no final pose we strive to achieve and no sense of failure in past attempts. Instead, each and every breath and pause becomes a thread that weaves a wiser, more thoughtful practice.
During our asana practice, neural connections are being created, our body and mind are learning how to work together harmoniously instead of fighting against each other. The breath is the bridge, the mediator.
So stay attentive to the work being done in each moment as you breathe in and breathe out. Keep a lightness of spirit. The natural by-product becomes a practice which is truly a moving meditation.
Ruth teaches yoga in Cheltenham UK, weaving yoga philosophy into the asana practice to help students connect yoga on the mat to their lives off the mat.