When Did Your Practice Start?
Long-time Boundless student and generally awesome person Matthew Dyman wrote this piece in honor of Yoga Week. Tell us — when did your practice start? What does it mean to you? We’d love to publish your story! Thank you Matthew for this beautiful piece and for your disciplined practice!
The Birth of My Practice by Matthew Dyman
I was hungover in Manhattan, walking into the large, lofty performance room where a friend was about to give his senior recital to get a masters degree in music. I wasn’t feeling too cultural, and although provided with an opportunity for a free brass quartet performance, I would rather be on a soft couch watching endless sitcoms .
I sat down in one of the stiff, straight backed chairs as the early afternoon sunlight streamed into the room. I suddenly decided that I was going to try to experience the performance in the purest way possible, try to focus completely and utterly on the music but without dissecting it to the point of distraction.
I closed my eyes, and sitting as upright as possible, followed my breath through my body, allowing my breath and the music to be the only two elements in my existence.
After around 25 minutes, the three pieces on the program had been performed, and I stood up. After some handshakes and photos, I exited the building into the busy streets, and I stopped. My hangover was gone. I had breathed it out. It was replaced by stillness, a calm, and incredible excitement at the discovery of a new skill and possible medicine. Breath! How is it that people can breathe all the time, but not as a way of improving themselves? Are people just using it as a way to prevent suffocation?
I went to Boundless, and discovered there were poses that could be incorporated into this concentrated breathing. At first, of course, learning the basics of the poses distracted from the breathing, but it is an ongoing practice that has never once been frustrating (Except of course, my inability to forward bend).
How did I not do yoga before, why hadn’t I done it all through college? I can breathe now, I can concentrate, I understand my mind more, I can embrace and gently push away my distractions, I feel lighter, and more in tune with my bones and muscles. I can’t say I have a sexy six-pack, but I wouldn’t trade it for the experiences and sense of community I have had at Boundless.