I originally started teaching at Yoga Mindset on Thursday nights. My original vision for the class was to focus on how Yoga can help with depression. It affects all of us in some way. If it doesn’t affect you directly, then someone in your life is dealing with it. Your words and actions have such a profound impact on those you encounter. We will never what the ripples our words and actions will have on the world around us. So why not breathe? Why not breathe as deeply as you possibly can?
As a baby, infant, child … our breathing is so deep and full. We want to take in the world around us. We want to survive. We want to experience. We want to live each moment to its fullest possible extent. So why is life so damn hard now? I truly believe it is because we have forgotten how to breathe. I easily forget to breathe with my full body. I instead feel that I have nothing to give the world around me and it ultimately leads me to take sips at this earth. We all battle with these frustrating thoughts. So I grasp on to the moment and take a deep breath. Do I have any idea what it brings with it … nope. But I exhale and continue to move forward in that moment.
So how do you breathe? Are you gasping for air and hoping you won’t disturb this earth because you don’t feel deserving? Take a deep breath and realize that in the moment … you deserve it. I am allowed to experience decay, fear, sadness, anger and all of other possible emotional states. But I’m not going to let them keep me from taking a deep breath and remembering that in this moment … I am alive.
The Breath as Metaphor
When we were born, we breathed with our entire bodies. Each breath was like a wave that brought a wake of movement along the spine, down to the tailbone. But as we grew older, fear, sadness, anger and other emotional states changed the way we breathed. We began to restrict the breath in response to the darker emotions, and little by little we forgot the most natural way to breathe. Our respiratory system continued to function mechanically, drawing in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide from the constricted arena of our lungs. But as our capacity to breathe fully diminished, so did our ability to experience the enthusiasms and joys of childhood.
The way in which you breathe is a metaphor for the way in which you are living your life. Are you taking little sips of breath as though you don’t have permission to take up much space on the planet?
Learning to control your breath won’t solve all your problems, but it can help you cope with them better.
BOOK – “Yoga for Depression” by Amy Weintrab