I got up this morning at 3:45. 3:45 is, even in yoga terms, the middle of the night. 4:00 is the witching hour for yogi’s. There is a whole school of yoga devoted to the cycles of the day and their effects on our breathing rhythms, Swara Yoga.
You can get an idea of which of the three Swaras you are in by seeing which nasal passage is the most clear, left, right or as the Swaras shift, both equally.
I didn’t sleep last night all that well. Might be my breathing rhythms but it is probably the fact that yesterday, late afternoon, about the time Goldilocks broke into the three bears house, I discovered that all of my “change” was missing from my yoga box, somewhere upwards past $40.
Swami Muktibodhananda tells of the three Swaras. The left presides over mental actions, the right, physical and both together, spiritual.
I’m pretty sure I wasn’t breathing equally through both nostrils as I headed to the bank to trade two twenties for three tens and two fives to have change for my evening class.
Papa Bear probably didn’t have an equal flow finding Goldi sleeping in a family bed. Getting back from yoga class last evening, I definitely wasn’t breathing equally when I discovered all of my camera gear was “missing”. I went cold as I realized my Canon 10D, two lenses, and two flashes were now “hot”.
I did breath a little easier when I discovered that my laptop was just as available and was still in my care. I guess it was spiritual to thank the Gods I still had a Powerbook. Maybe it would have been “too hot”.
In meditation, if you are physically restless, your left nostril is probably blocked or has a reduced flow. If your mind is endlessly monkeying around, it’s your right with some constriction. Both flowing equally is when the porridge is just right and you eat from the Divine bowl.
One of the yogic texts, the Shiva Swarodaya, talks about the Swaras, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna like electrical currents. The left Swara, Ida, is the negative line, the right, pingala, positive. If we are breathing through our left side it stimulates the mental faculties. Breathing through the right stimulates the body. When the breath is transitioning from right nostril dominant to left nostril dominant and left to right it is said to stimulate the Atma (spiritual potential) of the Sushumna.
I didn’t find Goldilocks sleeping in a just right bed. But Kelly’s Ugg’s must have been just right, ’cause they’re missing too.
As my swara transitioned from the 3:00 porridge mind of endless speculation to the 3:45 physically getting out of my just right bed I thought about where I was feeling and where I felt the trespass in my body.
Physically, the “too cold” money hit me in the stomach like, well like, a hit in the stomach. Mentally, I started to make excuses to try to keep myself from blaming Goldilocks… “it is probably somewhere else”, “it fell out of the box into my car”, “I spent it”. Emotionally, I felt grief, sadness, remorse and disapproval. I felt fear and apprehension as I projected the moment into the future. Now I would have to start locking my house. In the last 24 years I have only locked my door when I travel. Mainly, I felt disappointment.
Physically, the “too hot” camera gear invoked my sympathetic nervous system toward the freeze response. I felt myself go pale as my blood vessels constricted and the world got quiet with “auditory exclusion”. I didn’t get tense, I didn’t sense a marked rise in heart rate but I bet my blood pressure was off the charts. Mentally, I went toward blame, thinking about how it “most probably” couldn’t be anyone else. The camera gear was in a backpack, in a closet, the cash in a non-descript blue clipboard, the size of the Ugg’s…
Emotionally, I felt hurt and disappointed. I felt anguish. I felt betrayed. I felt myself on the edge between anger and acceptance. Acceptance, for me, is the place where I believe, truly believe, that everything is perfect. It is a warm, comforting place. It is the doorway to Hara.
My yoga today will be about stimulating equal flows. I’m headed to the farm once the sun comes up. I going to pick some veggies and harvest some physical movement, emotional flexibility and spiritual connection. The freeze response caused an inhibition of my lacrimal gland, the one responsible for tear production. I’m hoping to water some chard as I move my body, relax my mind, connect to Mother Earth and unfreeze.