“… but it was the saxophone soloing that challenged credulity, it’s length and perhaps its unwillingness to tell a traditional story… If there’s one thing the facile critic needs to do his job, it is some verbal personality from the bandstand, some words to transcribe into the review – anything to make a thoroughly musical endeavor more literary or conversational. Coltrane would not provide it.”
Ben Ratliff

Coltrane - The Story of a Sound

Just Ujjayi

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We’ve been on the move for a few weeks now- first taking apart our home, then moving to my parents – and next week off to Romania  (this time next week I’ll be waking up for the first time in Romania). I haven’t been able to practice for at least two weeks (except for a little Shakuhachi playing) – I wasn’t able to create practice conditions in the midst of the chaos. The past few days, now that we have settled a little bit (no longer live in a mess – though we did bring some of it with us to my parents place) – my thoughts have been slowly gravitating towards practice.

This morning I sat down for a short breathing practice. I was thankful to my body for remembering how to sit properly. All I did was a little Ujjayi breathing (I did not have access to the quality of breath I am used to in my Pranayama practices). I remembered how magical  a simple breathing practice can be. Ujjayi and Pranayama breathing practices are second nature to me – and it takes just a few Ujjayi breaths for me to feel my body remembering and connecting with the experience I have assimilated around them – a kind of quantum leap of the body.

My presence in the practice was steady but definitely pre-occupied. I didn’t make any attempt to still my mind – I simply sat and watched as an endless stream of thought passed through me – going through everything from important to petty issues. It would have been foolish of me to seek quiet and settling when my life is in the eye of a storm. Watching the storm pass through me and carry me was a restorative experience – it created a sense of presence. I was happy to find that there was no pretense or denial – that there was peaceful containment. There was no sense of struggle – as if all that I am has come together to weather this storm and there wasn’t a single voice (mind, body, spirit) of malcontent – I am really leaning into it 🙂

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