Wasn’t that wind storm beautiful? Perhaps, if you were one of the Pittsburgher’s whose car was crushed by a falling tree you might not be able to appreciate the beauty of it just yet, but for the rest of us it was a powerful, sensual and dynamic experience. No rain, lightning, hail. Just wind blowing over 35 miles per hour for over four hours in a row with gusts up to 60 miles per hour thrown in for gusto.
Yoga has many powerful connections with wind. First, and perhaps the most obvious, is the wind of breath. We take the wind of breath in through our nose or mouth and it fuels our bodies with oxygen. Depending on our breathing pattern we can communicate various messages to our brain through our central nervous system. As the breath moves through our bodies we use the internal architecture and organs of the body to accept the winds, move them to the available spaces and take the excess to appropriate avenues of escape. Another, somewhat less obvious connection to yoga(unless you have a ‘thing’ for potty humor or happen to be living with a 3rd grader), are the winds of our digestive system. There’s even a pose called “wind relieving posture” which has been known to massage some winds from a few student’s bellies. While the sound of the escape of these winds through burps and farts (yes, farts are part of yoga too) may cause some embarassment to the yogi, their release creates space and ease in the digestive system.
Finally, we have the winds of the internal energy of the body. Have you ever been really angry? (If the answer is no, then I’m SUPER excited and honored to have you, the Dalai Lama reading my blog!) Your anger might have risen from your belly your heart and you felt the need to amplify your voice to allow the energy of this angry wind escape through your mouth on the vehicle of your words. Illness and health is viewed through many healing traditions as management of the internal winds of the body.
So, today, allow wind to be a part of your yoga. Try inhaling and exhaling through your nose as you allow your shoulders to drop away from your ears. Listen to the sound of your breath. Close your eyes for a moment and look at your internal weather system. Belly full of wind? Heart full of wind? Have all the winds become so sedate that you can’t fly your soul kite today? Whatever your wind status, just spending a few moments to breathe and look at your internal weather might bring you insight and relief. And, if a tree did fall on your car last night, it will give you something to do as you call your insurance company and get placed on eternal hold.