water your garden: the ujaii breath

The earth is bone dry. It’s rained less than a handful of times all summer. I usually can count on the rain to cool off the worst of the mid-summer heat, but this year there is no relief. The second summer in a row of severe drought. I am almost used to it. But whenever I look at a photograph of how my property used to look, I am shocked at the difference. Although the drought does make yard maintenance easier, I miss extravagant growth of the vegetation around here. The other day I happened to be on my back porch, and caught a glimpse of my garden. The front of my garden was much taller and healthier looking than the back. This is because I always begin my watering up front and then work my way back, and sometimes I run out of time. There is a ring of healthy green grass around the front of my garden, a by-product of the more assiduous watering there. It is a little sad to see how pathetic the rest of my lawn is, but there is this bright green semi-circle glowing like a beacon of hope. Sometimes our lives are full of rain. Things grow in abundance without much effort on our part. Other times, we need to be disciplined about watering in order to make anything happen. Our yoga practice is the same. Some days the practice is easy and abundant. Other times it feels dry and devoid of life. Handstand comes easily one day, and is unattainable the next. The breath is to our yoga practice as water...