The Inspiring Beauty of Breath

I am constantly telling my students that their biggest resource is their breath. We hold poses in yoga, not breath. Breathing is what keeps us going – what keeps us alive & present. The harder you breathe, the quieter and softer your thoughts become.
But what happens the day you come back to yoga after your uncle’s funeral, or the night after your beloved pet has been put down? What happens at your very first yoga class? Your fresh return to yoga after a surgery, or injury that has kept you away for weeks, maybe even months? Chances are, you aren’t breathing. Every breath feels like a knot in your chest – you feel suffocated, helpless and weak.
This is one of life’s biggest lessons! Just as Dory in “Finding Nemo” says: “just keep swimming,” these are the days we need to “just keep breathing.” It may not be easy, but as long as you connect consciousness with breath, you will make it through your practice.
The hardest part of yoga is simply arriving on your mat. Carving time out of your day to take care of your mind, body and spirit. Once you arrive, the ease comes. Easing in and out of poses, flowing and moving your body to the sound of your own breath.
Our breath also helps the class as a whole. By breathing loudly and truly arriving on your mat, you are able to inspire each other. If you breathe loudly and hold tree, or vikrasana, you neighbor might hold onto their pose just a little bit longer.
Although yoga is a truly individual practice, it is so important to integrate classes at yoga studios into your schedule. Your commitment to your practice, your breath and your energy is shared as a collective whole. I believe there is nothing better than watching someone get into a handstand for the first time and having a whole class of students cheer them on or clap! Or after a beginners’ first month, having someone lean over and say “you did a great job in class today!”
There are so many definitions of yoga. One is “union with breath” and I believe that another should also be “collective union.” The uniting of a few souls with a common goal. The louder we breathe, the more we inspire each other!

Get out there – breathe even louder – do yoga & make life sparkle!

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