I subbed for my regular Sunday morning yoga class today. When I was thinking about what to teach, I came up with the theme of “three.” It just seemed to bubble up as I planned, kept coming up, repeating and insisting itself. I looked up a bit about the meaning of three — divinity, order, unity, wholeness. It’s a sacred number in many religious traditions.
There’s been research that deep breathing triggers a relaxation response in the body. As little as three deep breaths can do the trick. When our lizard, reptilian brain is in a state of fight, flight, or freeze, three deep breaths can instigate a shift back to our natural state of calm, relax us back into our inherent wisdom and compassion.
Yoga can also be translated as “union,” the unification of body, mind, and heart — our three “selves.” Three also made me think of “ready, set, go.” Ready is setting our intention, set is getting together our props and tools, gathering what we need, and go can either be literal movement or energetic, or it can be surrender, as in “ready, set, let go.”
It was a really fun class. We moved through poses in sequences or series of three, paused to take three breaths throughout, and circled back to that notion of unification of body, mind, and heart as we practiced. And the most magic thing that I only realized just now? I had three students.