Stop what you’re doing right now. How are you feeling, right now? Stop. Listen. And, check in.
One of the most important things I’ve learned in yoga has been learning to breathe. No, seriously. You might think, you are born breathing, why do you need to learn to breathe?
Well, in my experience, it’s only when I am reminded to take deeps breaths or sit up straight that I realize I have been taking shallow breaths or slouching terribly in my seat. So, this is your reminder today.
Where you are now. Right now.
If you’re standing, plant your feet about shoulders’ width apart and put a slight bend in your knees.
If you’re sitting, make sure to uncross any part of your body that is crossed.
Notice if there are any tense spots in your body.
Do your best to relax those spots.
Take one deep breath.
Inhale (for 5 seconds min.).
Hold that inhale for 3 seconds if you can.
Now, exhale (for 8 seconds min.).
Repeat that exercise about 10 times.
Did you notice any changes in your body? Less tension? More tension? If you were anxious before you started the exercise, did your heart or mind stop racing?
Try repeating this exercise every hour or so, if you can. Or even anytime you start to feel anxious or you notice your breathing has become shallow (hello, post-lunch fatigue!).
No excuses, guys. It literally will take you about 5 minutes to do this. And if you don’t have 5 minutes right now, do it when you have the time.
Breathing might be the simplest of tasks for us. We’ve been doing it all of our lives. But have we been doing it well? With everything in life that comes second-nature to us, we have the tendency to become lazy with it or forget that we’re even doing it!
If you do one thing today, take time to check in with yourself. Your body. Your breath. Your mindset.
At the end of the day, we end up carrying around all those things we’ve been holding in our bodies all day long. It’s crazy how our minds are so closely tied to our bodies. At least let’s try to bring awareness to ourselves of these things and see if we can lessen any stress, tension or pains that we might have neglected in the past.