12/ Stress

During the period when I became an initiate of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a café that I used to frequent for its cheap, delicious dishes was Guru Nanak’s Conscious Cookery. 

The café was located on one of the side streets behind King’s Cross Station. Despite its hordes of  raucous, cutlery-gesticulating customers – many students - the atmosphere seemed always calm and soothing.  Maybe behind its closed kitchen doors there was Fawlty Towers chaos.  But I don’t think so.  The presumably Sikh waiters served the food with an invariable serene, unflappable composure their deliberate manner emanating respect for what they placed on the table before us, how they placed it.  But this memory is inevitably inflected with silver-haired nostalgia. 

A second memory surfaces of a Hindu hatha yoga teacher whose classes I once attended.  At the close of each session she used to impress upon us the vital importance of savouring each successive breath we take. As we lay on our mats on the floor she would say in her quiet, solemn voice that each of us from the moment of birth had only a given number of  breaths to use up throughout our life times. Irretrievable.

First squawk to last gasp, treasure every one of them. 

Now, more than ever before, I appreciate the value of becoming absorbed in each action, immersed in the moment.  Consciously breathing.  Relieving stress.

© Benóg Brady Bates

Useful Resource: 
In Conversation with Charlie Maguire - The Buteyko Centre, Coomhola Lodge, Bantry, full video accessed here


  1. What a great antidote to stress- and your synopsis of life 'from first squawk to last gasp' brought a smile to my face!


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