Whether life is going well or life is challenging, just breathe. Sometimes when things are going well, I find myself holding my breath. As if I want to hold onto the good and not let it go. However, change is inevitable, so it’s best to just take it in and appreciate it while things are going well. Even more often, I find myself holding my breath when things are challenging. As if by holding my breath, the challenge won’t actually enter my life. If only it were that simple.
Most of us are not taught to breathe through life. We are taught to repress, avoid and go against the natural flow. We are so uncomfortable with discomfort. However, discomfort is a part of life. It is important that we learn to breathe through our life no matter what it looks like. Allowing energy to flow when all we want to do is restrict and close is the key to health and happiness. When we cut off the breath, we cut off our life force and with that comes a whole host of problems on the physical, physiological, mental and emotional levels.
One of my favorite Sanskrit quotes is Calle Vattam, Calle Cittam: where the breath goes, the mind goes. When we breathe with anxiousness, the mind becomes anxious. When we slow the breath down, the mind follows. With slow deep breathing and a calm focused mind, our entire system relaxes taking us out of flight or fight mode. This is the practice of yoga and more specifically pranayama. With pranayama, we are consciously extending the prana which is our vital life force.
Yoga is a practice of placing ourselves in challenging, uncomfortable or new experiences and using the breath to guide us in and out. It can help us to access the vital life force energy regardless of the circumstances going on around us. Up to this point, I have found life to be a series of comfortable, joyful moments with lots of painful and uncomfortable moments arising in between so being able to breathe through all of it is a skill I am grateful to have. The key is practice. So this month, as you find yourself in the midst of all that life is presenting to you…just keep breathing.
We have a lot of great workshops and events happening at Yoga Blend over the next couple of months, including a new way we would love to have you participate with us through our Summer Instagram Challenge.
Summer can be a time where we get distracted and out of our routines for a number of reasons. Sometimes this is a blessing, and others, it can make us feel very tired, cranky and unsettled. Yoga Blend wants to help you stay focused by offering a special intention for each of the summer months (June, July, August) that you can tune into on the mat, at the studio, or through social media wherever you go! We are excited for you to post photos or share images that connect you to this theme. Let’s make this the best summer ever through connection, community and intent. The theme for June is Just Breathe.
Please check out the details on how you can participate by taking a look at our Summer Instagram Challenge blog post!
With infinite love and gratitude…