“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” – Oprah Winfrey
One morning I was at yoga class and as I stood after finishing a pose, I began to feel light-headed and dizzy. I tried to wait the feeling out, but it wouldn’t go away. Eventually, I had to leave class to go lie down.
I was really perplexed by the bout of dizziness that I experienced because I am an active person and have been since high school. I had never really experienced something like this before, even when completing challenging physical exercise.
When I went back to class the following week I was nervous that this might happen again. And as I followed along with the class, I found myself focusing more and more on breathing rhythmically with the physical motions we were doing. Of course, this is something that is taught in any yoga class, but until them I didn’t quite understand it’s importance.
As I focused on my breath and matched it to my actions, I felt a little stronger than I had before. As my breath and actions flowed in unison, there was more power behind what I did, and even when I started to get tired my breath connected me to a source of energy that I could draw on to complete the pose.
The way that you breathe affects the way and the speed with which you are living your life. When you feel stressed, overwhelmed and “busy” your breathing is usually shallow and quick, and only reinforces these feelings.
But when you breathe deliberately, steadily and slowly your actions slowly come into rhythm with your breath, making you feel that you have the power to do what you need to do.
Your Breath Shows You How To…
Come Back To Your Center: Breathing properly reminds you of your Center and how to act from it. When you connect with your Center you are able to act from yourself to do what you really need to be doing. “Busyness” goes away.
See the “Cracks”: You need to access silence to see the “cracks” well. Breathing well slows you down so that you don’t miss seeing them. It allows you to carry silence with you, even when things are loud on the outside.
Be Present: Your breath is the same in the past, present and the future. Focusing on your breath now, connects you to this moment that you are in. When you are breathing there is only Now. Be there with it.
Connect Your Mind, Body and Soul: When you are present with your breath, you are, all at the same time, with your body (the physical movement of air into and out of your lungs), your mind (the focusing of your attention on your breath) and your soul (the part that you access as you enter your Center). These things are not separate.
Find Your Breath When You Need It
- Stop: If you are running around feeling stressed, for a moment, stop what you are doing. More activity at a faster pace usually does nothing to help you feel less stressed. 😉
- Sit: Sit down comfortably, preferably with your back straight and your shoulders back (so there is lots of room in your chest cavity for air to come in and out).
- Breathe: Inhale to a count of 4, and then exhale to a count of 4. Slowly, steadily.
- Start Again: Now you are ready for more activity. Repeat as necessary throughout your day.
Do you have any breathing exercises you feel are helpful? How would you describe the way it feels when you are breathing properly? Please share your ideas in the comments. 🙂