Counting heartbeats

Somewhere along my yoga practice, I started counting breaths for measuring time. Rather than mouthing 1, 2, 3…, counting breaths enabled me to hold a shorter amount of time when being over-challenged, (breathing fast due to excess effort,) and maintaining an asana longer when my body so allowed. In other words, it is a natural biofeedback mechanism. I Also noticed that it did something else – it made me even more connected with my body during practice; the air moving through my nostrils, via my throat into my expanding and contracting lungs, formed a connection between the external and the internal.
Taking it a step further, I started counting heartbeats. It has the same notion of biofeedback and this too connects me to my body, but given that heartbeats are a little harder to observe, this practice makes me even more attentive. Combined together, I now practice breathing to the count of my beating heart. For example, when practicing a breathing technique known as 1-2 breathing, a practice during which one inhales to a certain count e.g. 4, and then exhales to double that count e.g. 8, I do this to the rhythm of my heart. This elevates the practice as a whole as I find myself attuned to both my heart and my breath.
The next natural progression is to adopt a practice summed up eloquently by Joseph Campbell: The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.

Learned from: my beating heart


About Ronen

Ronen Divon had been walking spiritual and holistic paths for well over thirty years. Born in Israel, educated in New York, and currently residing in North Carolina, Ronen had traveled the world, spending time with teachers, masters, healers and guides. With wisdom that spans multiple traditions, including the Far East, India, Israel, Brazil, Peru, and Native America, Ronen remains a student, learning and adding modalities that will best serve his clients, each according to their own unique needs. Ronen is also a published author, a Yoga, Meditation, and Tai Chi instructor.
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