Breath – it’s a powerful and healing word. A lovely combination of meditative movement and breathing is taking place in of all places, Houston Texas. Yoga meets performance art in a piece created by Pam Johnson and Lynn Birdwell entitled “Breath, the Pulse of the Universe.”
The live event is a three-part experiential homage to breath — beginning with a short art film, directed by Birdwell and produced by Rivet, which features Johnson, a long-respected local yoga acharya. Then Johnson leads Tadasana Breath Troupe in an on-stage performance. The piece closes with a short, guided meditation by Birdwell.
The inspiration for the piece was to capture and inspire awareness about the breath, which is both the essence of the ancient healing practice of yoga as well as the innate human capacity to create and manage internal spaces.
Since the show closes with a guided meditation, the audience is able to experience spirituality and art firsthand. Participants are encouraged to quiet external distractions and tap into their internal senses.
The piece has already been performed in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Rothko Chapel, as well as in Austin and California.
Birdwell and Johnson continue to search for appropriate venues for “Breath” throughout the world. Because the program features expressively sonorous surround-sound, the audience is enveloped in a peaked sensory perception.
Says breath coach and Vinyasa Krama practitioner Johnson:
“Change your breath, change your life.”
She has a similar rationale behind her more than 30 years teaching ancient classical Himalayan pranic yoga. It all comes back to breathing.
“When people are watching us move, and hearing us breathe in surround sound, they almost can’t help but start breathing with us,” said Johnson. “It has a calming effect on the mind”
“The calming and centering power of attentive breathing is more important now than ever.”
“We need to turn inward,” she said. “This calmness and mindset that breathing can create is a way of slowing things down in an increasingly fast-paced world. Once we can experience that, then we can take it out into the world and change things.”
Birdwell asserts that by being better breathers, individuals can become better listeners. “It can change the way we see nature and other people,” she says. Her hope is that the program can help people find inner calm and change their lives for the better.
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