These are some of the breathing instructions you might hear in a Led Ashtanga class:
Breathe with sound.
Listen to your breath.
Nowhere do you hear breathe like a racehorse or like a hissing furnace, which is what I might have been doing. I don’t know if it is PC to talk about how we are no longer instructed to do Ujjayi breathing, but I am glad to report that I have made peace with my breath not being particularly loud or strong sounding like some of the students whose asana, body shape and breath sound I covet. Yes, you can covet breath sound and quiet landings, if you did not already know. All I need is to be able to hear it so I can be guided by it and it can make me forget about what I covet!! Today I practiced just listening to how my breath was coming out, not trying to give it instructions or placing demands on it, just observing how it comes out, and guess what? I think that is exactly what “listen to your breath, and breathe freely” means when the teachers say it. Again, even though I was tired. MY MIND WAS NOT TIRED. When your mind is not tired, you do not wimp out in UD or when the teacher wants you to go back into Sirsasana when you where already in Balasana. Happy Friday.