I’ve been thinking a lot about breath lately, probably because it’s a particular focus at Humble Yoga. I think I can hear Esther in my sleep, “Are you breathing?” It’s the first line in their motto, so I shouldn’t be surprised.
Breath should be instinctual; it’s certainly something we do without consciously telling our brain to inhale / exhale. And we do it like this until we don’t.
See, I’m pretty sure I hold my breath when life is hard. Bad news? Sharp inhale. Still holding minutes later. Sucky day? Lots of sharp inhales. Lots of angry faces. No discernible exhales. Hard yogaposture? I’m holding my breath as my face turns red. I’m not really sure why I do this. Maybe by holding my breath, I can keep the bad news / the terrible day / the posture that I just can’t get out of my brain. If I don’t find it there, maybe it’s not real. I think that it’s probably a protective instinct. But in reality? It doesn’t help at all to not breathe. Not breathing = not moving forward.
But here’s what I’m learning. We can do hard things (in life and in yoga). I don’t think that breathing through a hard situation makes it easier, but who can argue with fresh oxygen and deeply inflated lungs? My goal this week is to lean into the hard and breathe through it. (I’m still potty training one twin, so if you think I don’t know hard…) This morning, I took Esther’s 9:30 flow class and tried to keep breath as my intention. I focused on sending breath to the tight places and breathing through the stretch. This afternoon, I gave myself extra breaths as said twin had another accident. In the bathroom. (insert eyeroll, but I swear I breathed.) Have you been doing this at all? How’s it working for you? Maybe it comes easily for you, and if so, I want to know! Or maybe it’s hard. Either way, tell me in the comments. And when I pass you on your mat, we can just smile and know we’re all in this together.