What If Every Breath You Took Was Like Eating a Bite of Chocolate Cake?
Don’t laugh! Think about it for a moment. Would it make you happier if every breath was like a bite of chocolate cake, even if nothing else in your life changed?
When I first started Yoga I was confused by all the emphasis on the breath. OK, I get it. Breathe deeply. What’s next?
The more I learned, the more it seemed like Yoga had a serious breath obsession. It’s the focus of meditation. You have to do it right when you do poses. It feeds the chakras (energy centers) in your body. There’s even a whole separate practice for advanced breathing called pranayama.
What for?, I asked myself. OK, we need to breathe deeply. So what?
Now I understand! It’s like this. Between a single breath or a bite of chocolate cake, which one is more amazing? (Any trouble answering that and you probably have bigger problems than I can help you with!)
The single breath is more amazing, of course, because it is the wondrous source of your very being – a precondition even to enjoying a bite of chocolate cake. You could say that the single breath is infinitely wondrous. Perhaps you might even say it is divine.
While I was writing this I started explaining to it my wife, and she said, “That makes sense, but you couldn’t get anything done if you were eating chocolate cake all day.”
I replied, “You’re right, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to tap into that kind of “better than chocolate cake” divine amazement any time you wanted to, just by focusing on your breath? Wouldn’t that make your life a lot happier, no matter what else was going on?”
“Yes, of course,” she replied.
“Bingo. That’s what Yoga philosophy is all about.”