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Mindful : June 2019
PRACTICE our mats, surrounded and comforted by the support of bolsters and blankets. As we lie in postures designed to encourage the gentle release of tight and short- ened muscles, we “receive” the breath as it enters the body. Then, we mentally trace where our feet, legs, back, arms, and head touch the floor, like kids making body outlines they’ll later paint in art class, and imag- ine expanding the imprint with our awareness. We invite the breath to meet any hard or stuck places in the body, washing over and around them like water, releasing the tension and pain held there. In a contemplation she calls Making Space, Pransky gently urges, “Let yourself be opened by your breath.” Welcome the breath with a receptive belly. Your breath will gently unravel the tension it meets. Your breath will tenderly expand you inside. Allow your breath to unwind you, unfurl you. From Go-Go-Go to Slow- Slow-Slow Twenty years ago a different yoga attracted Jillian Pransky. A dif- ferent life. Absorbed in a busy marketing career with a major publishing house in Manhattan, she was a go-getter, a climber, focused on success and her ability to create it. “Jillian the Achiever. Jillian the → Imagine you could breathe directly through your heart. Imagine this is where the air flows in and out of you. Let your breath flow freely in and out through your hear t. Let your breath soften you. Uncovering layers of you. Allowing room for you to unfurl. All of you. Your breath tenderly receiving ever ything it comes in contact with. Welcoming your deepest feelings openly, unwaveringly. Welcoming all your feelings. Your joys and your sorrows. Your breath is a gentle listening space. Your breath listens wholeheartedly to all that it meets, staying with you no matter what arises. Your breath is always present. Always listening. Listen to your infinite breath as it flows in and out of your hear t. Your breath will teach you how to listen. Listen softly. Listen to yourself as your breath listens to you. — Jillian Pransky Listening Softly low-tech stew—a nourish- ing and welcome response to our hyper-connected and overstimulated lives. It might just be the antithesis of popular modern yoga styles—no overheated room, no endless Chaturangas-to- Up-Dog vinyasas, no orders to in-hale! ex- hale! Instead we move slowly and deliberately, warm- ing up with a few gentle poses. With calm assur- ance, she is beginning to direct our inner attention to how we hold ourselves in our bodies, before we head back to lie down on June 2019 mindful 57