Begin With Mindfulness
It feels appropriate to begin our blog with a mindful intention. Sol Hot House Yoga and the team at Yogi Got Sol want you to be healthier and happier. That's it. Plain and simple. Through this blog, we will offer as many insights and opportunities to guide you on your journey to better health and increased happiness.
As we find ourselves on our mats for our yoga and mindful meditation practice, we begin by centering our minds before our bodies. We want to still the "monkey mind" that constantly chatters in the background. If your mind is not still, it doesn't matter what physical posture you take. We want to draw attention to our breath. We want to bring our attention to the simplicity of taking air in, letting it fuel the circulation of our blood throughout our bodies, and then letting go.
Continue this repetitive cycle of your breath for 10 times, 30 times, or shoot for time from 1 minute, 5 minutes, 20 minutes, etc. The goal is not to focus on repetitions or time. The real goal is to center yourself on something that is truly essential to life, and remove the non-essential distractions from your mind. That is different from isolating yourself, ignoring those distractions, or pretending they do not exist. We want you to realize and acknowledge What Is, find peace and stillness in that space, then be able to let go of all the things that are not essential to your health and happiness.
Breathing is one of the most essential elements of life, and it's natural to begin there as we create space in our minds. The concept of "space" is essential to your practice, and it's important to understand the relationship between "air" and "space". Matt was a Navy diver for 20 years, so he likes to conceptualize this in terms of the gas laws. To get a little scientific, just for a moment, Boyle, Charles, and Gay-Lussac form the principles for how gases behave as Pressure, Volume, and Temperature change. A variation in one factor causes a direct or indirect impact on the others.
For example, consider an air tank for a SCUBA diver. The Volume is constant inside the tank. If you leave the cylinder in the hot sun, the Temperature rises, and the Pressure inside the tank will also rise. If it gets too hot, the air will seek to escape.
As the diver descends in the water, the air is inhaled at a certain pressure. At 33 feet, the diver reaches the first order of magnitude change in atmospheric pressure. In other words, the air enters the lungs and then absorbed into the bloodstream as little - microscopic - bubbles. The size of the bubble at the surface is twice as big as the size of the bubble at 33 feet underwater. As the diver begins to ascend, the air bubbles expand. If the diver ascends too fast, the bubbles have nowhere to go - the air can't pass through the blood vessels. This can cause serious, life-threatening problems, commonly known as decompression sickness or "the bends", and even death.
This is an extreme example to highlight the importance of being mindful of our breath. It also illustrates the relationship between air and space. Even though we're not all SCUBA divers, modern day life can be a barrage of information and quickly fill up the Volume of our minds. Our phones, the television, radio, our jobs, and on-and-on continue until our tank is filled. Increase the Pressure, and just like the air tank in the hot sun, we start looking for a release valve. We need to create space in our minds, and in our lives.
Just like the SCUBA diver, we should begin to "dive into" our day, or a new project with a certain conscious mindfulness. We need to take stops along the way to create space, to allow the pressure to release. We want you to have the confidence to explore the deep blue depths of your life, and to be the healthiest and happiest that you can be. That's our goal.
To breathe, and to allow the exhausted air to escape; this takes practice. We're here to help guide and support you along the way.
We're excited to begin this journey together with you!