During yoga practice yesterday, the yoga instructor Katie reminded me why breathing has become the defining factor of my life. Besides the fact that we have to breathe to live – as if you all didn’t already know that – it is one of the most important and relaxing exercises I practice. It is so simple. Inhale. Exhale. Breathe in. Breathe out. Inhale. Exhale.
While it is very easy to sit and breathe, it can be very difficult to quiet my brain. My mind, my imagination, my thought process – they all love to work. If your brain is anything like mine, most of the time it is one over-active 2-year-old. It goes, goes, goes until it hits a wall and either crashes or becomes overly exhausted and cranky. Breathing, yoga, and meditation are my 2-year-old brain’s nap time.
I think I was bouncing off the walls before I even got in my car to head to yoga last night. I was excited – Excited for my first prenatal yoga class. Excited for a yoga class. Excited to be around other pregnant woman. Excited for an hour for me. Excited for an hour with my baby. When it was time to sit still and breathe, I had a hard time quieting my brain. The yoga instructor must have heard my brain talking because she gently reminded the class to let our thoughts go. Thoughts will always show up. During yoga and mediation, acknowledge the presences of the thought and let it go. Let it go without judgement, without emotion. Let the thought leave you as quickly as it showed up.
Our only purpose during the practice is to breathe. Inhale Exhale. Breath in. Breath out. If you have a hard time quieting your brain, this should be your thought process. (Thank you again to Katie!) As you inhale – I am breathing in. As you exhale – I am breathing out. All my thoughts about dinner, running, future blog posts, baby checklists, messy kitchens, etc. disappeared. My only purpose in that moment was breathing.
By focusing on my breath, I am able to turn off my over-active brain. I am able to relax my mind, my body, and my emotions. I am brought back to the center of myself. I’m brought back to love. When the rest of the world is erased, when I’m not worried about anything but inhale and exhaling, I’m left with a moment to remember that I am here to love. I’m here to give love and to receive love. The dirty dishes, the messy house, the never-ending to-do lists pale in comparison to the real reason I wake up every morning. By simply breathing in and breathing out, I am open to give love and to receive love.
It’s no surprise to me that my life waited to fall into place until I learned how to breathe deeply – truly opening myself up to all aspects of love.
Inhale. Exhale. Breathe in. Breathe out. Inhale. Exhale. I am breathing in. I am breathing out. Give yourself the gift of love and take 1o minutes to really breathe today!