@Sailed to Koh Mai Ton, Thailand, Jan ’18.

Kumbhaka – the middle space and time in between… the moments in transition.

This old post just popped back up in my mind, as I joined my inspiring friends for a week who had quit their job and life to move onto a boat sailing the world with their daughter and dog. Something soothing about sitting at the front of the catamaran at 5am cruising down the river back to the space between Malaysia and Singapore. Today’s another attempt to squeeze into a weather window to loop around the Singapore Strait and transition from the west coast of peninsular Malaysia to the east coast. As we entered a cloudy sunrise, with my friends Ben & Kristy, their friend Ben and adorable pup Rosie all on patrol (you can follow them at @year_39), I’m revisiting the his post from last year which I’ll just drop here, updated:

IMG_1351I came across a lil yoga flow video from Jan 2017 teaching yoga & living at Pangkor Laut Resort, an incredible private island resort in Malaysia. Caught a moment in transition from splits into a low lunge, this snap brought me back to the idea of that middle space – kumbhaka. Not only fun to say ;), kumbhaka is the space or the holding period between your inhale and exhale.

We can expand the capacity of our lungs to increase this time – during which you calm and also razor focus your mind, body, and life energy.

And also during which your vision is clearer and your manifesting abilities more powerful.

Read up more about it – and in an “immortality” section – it suggests aging directly correlates to the breathing rate of a living species:

  • Mouse – respiratory rate = 60-230 breaths/min | life span = 1.5-3 years
  • Rabbit – respiratory rate = 30-60 breaths/min | life span = 5-6 years
  • Monkey – respiratory rate = 30-50 breaths/min | life span = 20-30 years
  • Human – respiratory rate = 12-16 breaths/min } life span = +/-80 years
  • Whale – respiratory rate = 3-5 breaths/min | life span = 100+ years 

I thought of my bunny Chocolate exploring the apartment and randomly while resting, I’d hear him suddenly breathe harder and louder, nose twitching faster. When I’d take him around with me for the day, the adventures would make his breath and heart race faster, until he normalized to the situation quickly and then plopped down to rest and chill again. On the opposite life span range, I thought of the jacuzzi sized turtles I dove with in Sipadan, Malaysia, so gracefully at ease, speedy and gliding through water… probably over 100 years old?

This immortality reading and animal encounters made me think:

– If life therefore is limited by our number of breaths?

– Could we slow down this time to increase life… as if to live (almost) forever?

– Even if we can’t live forever, here in kumbhaka between our inhale and exhale, we can optimize enjoyment of our own lives, merely just by taking time to exist in and honor this space.

– And if we made this a habit, how much more grace and pleasure in life would come?

This year [2017], it seems so many friends, their work, their life and businesses, and as usual, myself, are in transition – geographically, mentally, etc.

It is our time to embrace this space of uncertainty consciously, as they ultimately make up our life. 

The moments where it may seem maybe nothing is progressing, but where everything is possible.

The space where you can hold your peace.

To reclaim the pockets of grace you always knew you had. 

The home we can always return to.

The place that will guide us back into the present moment.

So if life is limited by our number of breaths, 

how can each be more of an opportunity, a moment, a gift to love being alive?