“There is the in-breath and there is the out-breath, and it’s easy to believe that we must exhale all of the time, without ever inhaling. But the inhale is absolutely essential if you want to continue to exhale.” – Dr. Joan Halifax
I read this quote a few days ago & it struck me as such a fitting analogy for my life. Sometimes, I can let my life get very full and in the process I forget about myself. All of the activities that I think that I need to do (whether for other people or for myself) are my exhales. The pauses in between all of those activities are my inhales. When I forget to inhale, I lose energy and it’s really hard to complete all of the tasks that I’ve set out for myself. The inhales in my life aren’t just nice to have. They are a necessity!
I’m always reminding other people to inhale too!
When I’m teaching a yoga class, one of the things that I do quite frequently is remind people to breathe.
My students are so caught up in the doing of the pose that they forget to ‘be’ in the pose as well. Simply put, they forget to breathe.
Usually when this is happening, my students are struggling to do the pose. Something happens when you bring your breath into the pose. An ease settles over your body. The yoga pose might still be difficult but your body & mind are better able to handle the difficulty by nourishing your body with your breath.
You must inhale to fully experience the yoga pose!
I forget to breath as well.
I’m as guilty as all of my students.
When I get in a difficult pose, the first thing that I forget to do is breathe. This can cause me to struggle and have difficulty settling into the pose.
Usually, a simple reminder to myself to inhale is enough to calm my body and to allow me to find the ease and full expression of my pose.
This is not something that I can only use in my yoga practice! I can do this with other life events as well. With just a simple breath, I let ease into my life.
Instead of adding stress to my body and my situation by holding my breath, I can create more ease and relax into the moment.
While this shouldn’t be revolutionary to me, whenever I apply this knowledge it seems like the first time. Each breath has the power to do this by bringing you back to the present moment and allowing peace and ease to flow. I just need to allow it to happen.
It’s been a lifelong habit.
I’ve seen this forgetting to pause and breath show up in my life in other ways as well.
As a mom with young kids, the inhales in my life came infrequently. I spent so much time focused on raising my kids and keeping them alive until another birthday, that I forget to be present to the moments when I could inhale and fill up my own cup. I was so caught up in the doing of all of the ‘mom’ things that I forgot to inhale and nourish myself.
Now that my kids are older, I would think that I would be better at this. I have more time to inhale and pause than I used to have, right? Well, yes I do, but I also fill up this time with so many other activities. I’m really good at exhaling out my energy in so many directions. I’m still not so good at pausing to inhale.
Take advantage of the unexpected moments to inhale and refresh yourself!
The problem with this is that I can only do this for so long before my body demands that I pause to inhale. Usually, this is when I get sick or let a ball drop.
I really hate it when that happens. I always feel like I’ve let myself down.
This is so unrealistic of me. To imagine that I can continue at a hectic pace with all of life’s activities and not take the time to pause and inhale, is to imagine myself as super-human. Acting as if I’m superhuman is exhausting & I don’t want to do it any longer than absolutely necessary.
When I receive reminders like this quote that the inhales of my life are just as important as the exhales, I remember to pause and enjoy the moments of my life that are in between all of the activity.
So, I’ll be the one in the corner taking that deep breath in & enjoying it completely every time I have an unexpected moment in my life. Practice with me whenever you get the chance. Pause and Inhale. It’s a beautiful practice.
If taking the time to give yourself that refreshing inhale sounds difficult to do, then it might be time to set up a session with me. You deserve to take care of yourself too! Click here to sign up for a free chat to learn more about how yoga therapy can help you to better balance your life.
Becky is a Yoga Therapist & has been teaching yoga since 2006. She loves to match people with a yoga practice that helps them to feel better every day & believes that there is a yoga practice for everyone. Click here to sign up for her mailing list & get all of the important news & tips first!