Last night I we had a yoga instructor come over and give us a class… boy was it intense, much more than any other type of yoga I have practiced in the past. It was wonderful and definitely what I needed. At the end of the session the curly dark haired yogi spoke about conscious breathing. Paying special attention to slowing down and being aware of our breath. This is something that I picked up from a special person over the years who actually used to hold their breath on a regular basis.
The yogi mentioned how a dog pants really quickly and dies at a young age, usually not reaching their 20th birthday. He then spoke of the turtle and how it only takes one breath every few minutes and can live hundreds of years. The slower the breath, the longer the life. This stayed with me until I wrote about it in my journal just before bed. I went just a little bit further in my thought process and connected that a turtle lives his whole life in the ocean or in some kind of water, how lovely. Hanging out, swimming, eating what you need, being totally protected with your hard shell only having to worry about sharks or human preditors. The dog on the other hand is everywhere. I thought back of the “res dogs” these mangy, boney, wild-eyed scary creatures that I’ve come across when driving through the Navajo Nation in Arizona. I then thought about the dogs that I see on the street with their tails in between their legs, curled up next to their homeless owners, both showing their bones through their skin wondering when they would be able to eat their next meal. The lifestyle is totally different between the two… the dog can be ruthless and will do whatever it has to in order to survive, its only now in history that we have domesticated them.
When I awoke this morning we headed to the Center of São Paulo so I could register for work finally and amongst all of the people I thought about my breathing. I thought about the dog versus the turtle and as everyone was rushing around me I thought as well about how we live in a Dog-Eat-Dog World, and in the heart of the city you cannot ignore this brutal fact. So does that mean, if you want to have a long life, you must not live in this environment, you must not partake in that sad ruthless world of Dog-Eat-Dog? Is that what separates those who live in the city versus those who live in less populated but beautiful locations like in the mountains or by the ocean? Less stress, no need to live at a face pace and less of a need to breath at a fast pace as well? Does that lead to a longer life? Probably so.