Yoga Diary 2: Use Your Breath
This yoga diary entry could not possibly be more fitting given that I have officially gotten through two weeks of paper-writing and final exam grading, which means, it is officially summerrrrr. While dark chocolate certainly played it’s role it helping me get to this point, I’d have to give the major credit for my success to my breath for keeping me sane.
One of the major, if not the most major, aspects of yoga is breathing. In fact, many yogis define yoga as a practice that connects breath and movement. Off of the mat, however, many of us forget how powerful our breath can be for getting us through the challenges of everyday life as well as some of the extraordinary challenges that we’re thrown more sporadically.
Coming off of a crazy couple of weeks, there were so many times where I found myself having to take a minute or so to connect with my breath. It’s so easy to let our minds get the best of us – constantly adding things to the to-do list, stressing out about work or school or issues with loved ones, doubting ourselves. There are so many voices that enter our heads on any given day, particularly when life gets crazy. Often this spiral of thoughts happens so quickly that we don’t even recognize it until we’re mentally, and often physically, wound up. These are the moments where a little breathing can go a long way. Taking a minute or even a half a minute to close your eyes and take a few deep inhales and exhales can help bring things back into focus and acknowledge your own power. By taking control of the breath, we clear our minds of doubt and remind ourselves that we also have control over many of the things that cause us to stress and even if we don’t, things will be fine. While taking deep breaths, I often remind myself of how fortunate I am by thinking of all of the things that I have to be grateful for. This helps me put things into perspective by reminding me that I have been here before and I have made it through. Thus, there is no reason that I should lack confidence in my ability to do so in this moment.