Riding the Wave

Feel your breath move in elongating waves through your body, and let your mind surf the full length of their sensation.

This wave-like movement is something that was first drawn to my attention many years ago while studying physical theater and Commedia dell’Arte in Italy (circa 2005). It was taught to me then, in a very basic way while standing-up, as one of many warm-ups to prepare the body-mind for physical improvisation and theatrical performance. Then, about a dozen years later, this movement has resurfaced for me, now in a horizontal way, while practicing Ashtanga yoga with Richard Freeman, Mary Taylor, and Ty Landrum. It is particularly accessible in the down dog, chatauranga, up dog pattern, but can also be explored in any asana as a way of elongating the spine and ensuring the un-impinged flow of breath-energy through the body. As Ty has explained it, the “wave” traces the primal pulse of energy in the body from the root of the spine through the soft palette to the crown of the head and encourages the body-mind to stay more organically connected with the energetic sensation of moving with the breath at every point in its flow.

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