Dear Yoga Teacher, What Do You Mean by "Breathing Into my Feet"?
My father started practicing yoga. He surprisingly loved it.
One day, he confessed - " I believe I understand most of what the teacher wants me to do, but what does he mean by breathing into my feet?"
It made me laugh. Us, yoga teachers, tend to say these type of sentences repeatedly as if they made any sense without further explanation. (Talk about self awareness, hah?!)
Here is what I mean when I instruct "breath into your feet/ legs/ fingers/ hairs or wherever else in your body):
I know, there are no lungs in your feet (are there?). But try to imagine that the air you inhale is carried away by your blood cells all the way down into your feet.
Notice how your feet feel. notice how your feet feel as you imagine the air you inhale is carried to them.
Focus on the air you inhale and focus on imagining the way the air makes all along your body until it reaches your feet.
4. If you are standing on your feet
Imagine how the air you shift to your feet is filling them with energy. Making your feet more vital, stronger and energized to carry your weight.
5. If you are lying down
Let your imaginary breath release the tension in your feet.
(I know it sounds all very hippie, but here is a true story: Ever since I had a terrible horseback riding accident, my neck used to badly strain whenever I was nervous or overly busy. One evening I was entertaining guests, which for some reason makes me nervous. Trying to be so hosty and friendly I noticed my neck is about to spasm. I quietly and intentionally directed my breath towards my neck. It miraculously helped and my neck was released, such a relief! Ever since I deeply believe in the power of breath to release the physical body).
6. Struggling - try color
If you are struggling to imagine your breath, try this - imagine you were surrounded by a color. Any color you like. Imagine that you inhale this color into your body. Imagine the color goes all the way down to your feet, painting them, filling them with your color.
7. Trust & Let Go
Breath practices are complicated. And this breath practice is especially complicated. Don't feel bad if you don't get it. Don't feel ashamed if you don't feel it. Trust that with time and practice you will get it and you will feel it. Trust that the effort you are making is enough to make a difference. And try to let go...Let go of expecpting yourself to "succeed". In my view, if you are able to let go of expectations you are practicing a much more advanced practice than any breath excercise...