October 20, 2020

Breath’s Times: Stillness, Waiting, Intentionality

Antonia Pont

This contribution combines a concise theoretical paper with some workshop activities for participants, exploring the breath’s flow, as well as breaks and pauses in the breath and the role of waiting, listening and the space of no breathing. Considering the habitual inertia of our everyday breathing, and the gentle interventions and playfulness that can constitute pranayama techniques from the field of yoga practisting, this paper proposes some frameworks for thinking about breathing in terms of temporality, intentionality and the falling away of known selves and anticipatory (habitual) ‘futures’ in favour of the breath’s responsiveness to open unknowns, the renewal of pausing, and the cultivation of expansiveness and attunement to desire in a steadied field.

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Antonia Pont

About Antonia Pont

Antonia Pont is Senior Lecturer in Writing, Literature and Culture, Course Director of the Bachelor of Creative Writing at Deakin University, Australia, and a fellow of Deakin Motion Lab and the Alfred Deakin Institute. She supervises doctoral candidates across writing, philosophy, and the creative arts, and is a poet, essayist and Zen/yoga practitioner. Her published scholarship concerns theories of practising and the role of difference and repetition in decision, movement, creativity, temporal diversity, habit and ethics, via 20th century philosophy. In 2017, Practising with Deleuze appeared with Edinburgh University Press, and her poetry collection You Will Not Know in Advance What You’ll Feel, was shortlisted for the 2020 Mary Gilmore Award. She is the founder of the yoga school, Vijnana Yoga Australia (2009-2019), and investigates breath, movement, repetition and non-doing to clarify the conditions, fleshy or otherwise, that enable decision, intention, audacity and stability, for individuals and collectives.