• Breathing in the Now

    Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. ― Thich Nhat Hanh


    What is conscious breathing?

    Why do we need to be conscious of our breath?

    Doesn’t the body know how to breathe just fine without having to think about it?

    We usually don’t pay attention to our breath until there’s trouble. We get a cold, suffer from allergies or have a deviated septum. Then we beg to breathe better, to feel better, to feel normal again. When we don’t breathe well we don’t live well, and everything becomes more challenging.

    When we study the breath, we become aware that breathing is both voluntary and non-voluntary, both a physical process and a circulation of a LIFE FORCE called Prana by the yoga tradition.

    Beyond sending oxygen to every one of our cells, breathing circulates Prana throughout our bodies. Becoming conscious of this process allows us to tune into the vibrating force that animates everything in the universe. Why wouldn’t we want to know more about this power?

    We are all unconsciously tuned to the power of the breath. For example, we inhale when we need courage, and we sigh the breath out when we feel safe and loved. We turn our breath into sound when we sing, chant, or talk. We can tell when our partner is having a tough day just by the sound of their breath. Some of us hold our breath in or out, and some of us only breathe into our upper chest due to fear or anxiety.

    Conscious breathing involves observing and working with the breath in a knowing way to change our lives. We can learn to ride the power of Prana for increased energy or to quiet us when we need to rest and reflect. We can use the breath to change our mood, our frame of mind, our level of energy.

    Conscious breathing brings us into the present again and again. Each breath takes place in the NOW. We can’t breathe for the past or store breaths for the future. We can only breathe this breath now, and to do so with awareness allows us to become intensely present.

    Conscious breathing also expands the role of choice in our lives. One of the greatest gifts of the breath is the introduction of a pause moment between breaths that offers a moment of reflection and choice.

    The pause between breaths can be approached like a fork in the road. In the pause, we can consciously choose to go down a familiar path that no longer serves us or to venture toward something new in our lives. Beyond sustaining our life, the breath offers a path toward fulfillment.

    The Goddess whispers a lullaby of love in the form of the mantra SO HUM, which translates as I AM. This mantra rides every inhale and exhale 22,000 a day, serving to remind us of our divine light.

    Conscious breathing allows us to cultivate this light within us. Close your eyes, breathe, become present and listen.

    By Anamargret Sanchez

    Among Miami’s most experienced and sought-after yoga teachers, Anamargret Sanchez is a global citizen of Jamaican, Cuban, and German heritage. She is a dedicated teacher and student of the yoga tradition, and has been blessed to study with many respected teachers, including Rod Stryker, creator of Para Yoga, Manorama, founder of Sanskrit Studies, T.K.V. Desikachar, Leslie Kaminoff, Marlysa Sullivan, and Judith Lasater. She is Cofounder of the Enhanced Healing Yoga Studio, located in Miami’s Upper East Side, and Cohosts YOGAMI, a podcast originating in Miami and focusing on “yoga and stuff.” As part of her commitment to giving and service through yoga, Anamargret also founded the Legion Park Community Yoga class, East Miami’s most successful and long-running yoga outreach effort. Anamargret’s classes are challenging, fun, compassionate, and create space for students to shine in their own light.

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    Image by Melk Hagelslag from Pixabay

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  • An Interview with Anamargret Sanchez

    Funny, Irreverent, Loyal

    Where are you from?

    I’m a Jamaican living in Miami.

    How did yoga come into your life and what has that journey been like for you?

    The profound practices of Yoga helped me get through the grief of losing my elders one year apart. The journey has been deep, magical, and life-changing. Yoga has connected me to so many different people, supported me in joy and sorrow, and brought me to a revolution of consciousness. I’d say it’s been an amazing journey so far with more surprises to come.

    How has yoga changed and what do you feel it creates in your daily life?

    Yoga has taught me to go inward. To uncover the voice of intuition and trust it. To have courage to look at my shadows. To understand that compassion and radical self-love are necessary to be able to offer the same to others. It creates a space for authentic joy.

    What is yoga to you?

    Yoga is my north star. It helps redirect me when I fall off the mindfulness wagon. There is no longer a difference between my Yoga on the mat and off the mat.

    How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you feel this influences or impacts the space you create for your students?

    I felt so embodied after my first yoga class. Like I had finally arrived home in my body and the space around me. I had never felt so whole before. That feeling is what I try to provide for students. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is seen. Everyone is safe. You are home.

    Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what qualities do you feel are important to build and work on as a yoga teacher?

    When I experienced the profound healing qualities of Yoga I felt the need to share that with others. It’s important as a teacher to SEE the student in front of you and not the idea of what a pose should look like. It’s the most important to have your own practice so you have something rich and authentic to transmit. You have to do the work before you can teach the work. Remember you are a student before you are a teacher- always.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?

    When my intuition very strongly led me to my Himalayan Tantric lineage. I had never heard that inner voice speak so loudly or clearly.

    What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga teacher?

    I’ve had many. But the most recent one was when a student told me that her yoga practice brought her back to her spirituality. That made my heart soar.

    Why do you practice?

    To stay awake to Life.

    Why do you teach?

    Because I love to share the rich beauty of Yoga. And I feel blessed every time I teach that I can be a conduit for the teachings. I can get out of the way knowing that any transformation that takes place is the grace that happens between the student and their practice.

    What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?

    Holding the space between Namaste and activism.

    Do you have any recommended yoga reading?

    Loving the simple, yet thought-provoking, message of the Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele.

    What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?

    Student first. Teacher second. Consistent practice is key. Fill your toolbox. Be the light.

    Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

    Bringing the linear and the spiritual together.

    What’s your favorite book?

    Siddhartha

    What’s your favorite meal to make at home?

    Vegetarian Picadillo & Parmesan crisps

    What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?

    Dance, swim, draw, write poetry, go boating, host dinner parties, read, laugh with friends, go on road trips, be out in nature with Fonzie.

    Who is your greatest inspiration?

    My Grandmothers

    Do you have a favorite podcast?

    Right now I’m listening to Lama Rod.

    If you were stranded on an island what 3 things would you bring with you?

    Books, my dog Fonzie, my favorite knife

    When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A teacher- lol

    What’s your favorite movie?

    The Man That Fell to Earth

    What’s your favorite TV series?

    Sense8

    Do you have a favorite band/singer?

    David Bowie

    Favorite song to dance to?

    Salsa music in general

    What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?

    “Look for the rainbow after the rain.” my personal quote

    What is your life’s biggest question?

    Who is the I?

    By Anamargret Sanchez

    Among Miami’s most experienced and sought-after yoga teachers, Anamargret Sanchez is a global citizen of Jamaican, Cuban, and German heritage. She is a dedicated teacher and student of the yoga tradition, and has been blessed to study with many respected teachers, including Rod Stryker, creator of Para Yoga, Manorama, founder of Sanskrit Studies, T.K.V. Desikachar, Leslie Kaminoff, Marlysa Sullivan, and Judith Lasater. She is Cofounder of the Enhanced Healing Yoga Studio, located in Miami’s Upper East Side, and Cohosts YOGAMI, a podcast originating in Miami and focusing on “yoga and stuff.” As part of her commitment to giving and service through yoga, Anamargret also founded the Legion Park Community Yoga class, East Miami’s most successful and long-running yoga outreach effort. Anamargret’s classes are challenging, fun, compassionate, and create space for students to shine in their own light.

    Take classes taught by Anamargret Sanchez on Omstars.

    Start your 14-day Free Trial with Omstars Today!