Your center is your place of balance

This is how you know you’ve really established a strong, solid connection with your center: you are able to remain in balance through transition or come back into balance relatively quickly and easily after major change. This is why I keep telling people this is not merely about relaxing or self care. That is just scratching the surface of what you are really able to do when you connect to your breath.

This is also why it is important to take your breath off your cushion and experience it in motion. To see it most explicitly, take it into a conscious movement practice. One of my yoga teachers uses what she calls her “rod of light” to keep her in balance on the mat and in the air. When she goes into a pose that causes her to wobble, she returns with breath and awareness to that rod of light.

It is the same in life. When you are in a challenging situation—and minor ones such as dealing with life’s petty annoyances are excellent training grounds—keep finding your breath and returning to your central pillar. I know it sounds dumb and cliché. How can such a trite practice as “breathe” possibly get you anywhere in life? But one day you will realize just how unflappable you’ve become. Situations that used to reduce you to a bundle of nerves or a puddle of tears or ignite you like a box of explosives become no big deal. You might not even recognize yourself, or you might shake your head in compassion for the old self that used to make mountains out of molehills. They are still mountains to those who haven’t yet recognized themselves as giants. Skillful displays of balance look like magic to outsiders—like something beyond the reach of the average person. But it all comes with practice and devotion.

Devotion. I could write reams on devotion. But for now I will just have you imagine and key into what it might be like to breathe with devotion, and to let the energy of devotion lead you to your divine center and to show you why it feels like hell whenever you feel yourself separate from it.

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