One of the words that I say the most as a trainer and yoga teacher is “breathe.” And I cannot tell you how many times I have had clients thank me for the reminder because they realize they were holding their breath while they were working. A couple of weeks ago I had a yoga student come up to me after class and tell me how much it helps them that I cue inhales and exhales consistently through class. And just today I was teaching a private to a client who brought his eight year old daughter along. She was trying to do a balancing pose and I softly reminded her to breathe. She looked up at me after the pose was over and said, “You know, breathing really helped me do that pose better.” It was so sweet.
One of the things that I emphasize most in my classes is breath and expansion. Learning to really deepen your inhales and exhales and use that to steady and calm yourself. It’s unbelievably powerful. I took my favorite yoga teacher’s class last week and had the honor of practicing next to a friend and fellow teacher. He has very strong and steady breath when he practices (in a nice soothing way, not in an overly exaggerated way) and having that steadiness next to me really grounded me and calmed me. Then I received an amazing assist from my teacher where I could feel her deeply breathe with me. After the assist I felt like I could float on air.
There is so much power behind our breath. I encourage all of you to think about it more both in your workouts and in your daily life. Especially when you’re breathing through something difficult…a heavy rep, a challenging arm balance, a hard conversation, a stressful meeting at work…or anything else that might make your heart beat fast and your breath quicken. Take control of slowing yourself back down and focusing.
I received a request for new yoga music, so here’s a playlist that I put together recently and have been really loving.
– The Light
– Out of Mind
– Nobody to Love
– Memories That Call You
Talk to me about breathing. Do you find yourself holding your breath often when you’re working out or stressed or are you mindful of it?