Just Breathe

Couldn't resist taking this picture of people milling in front of the giant clock face at the Musée d’Orsay when we were there a few weeks ago for the “Impressionisme et La Mode” exhibition. We liked the contrast in feeling between the expansive lightness of Paris’ sky, and the tighter, corseted galleries downstairs. 

Photo: Courtauld Institute of Art, London

Photo: Courtauld Institute of Art, London

The interplay between that freedom and restriction really reminded us of the breath, and how in yoga and pranayama sometimes retaining it (Kumbhaka) can bring more vitality to inhalations and exhalations. We also really love the word Kumbhaka because it evokes a chalice (kumbha) and if you think of the shape of a chalice, it has the same curved forms as a woman’s body from the 19th century—tightly cinched at the center, bosomy above, bountiful below.