Breathe through it

Often my class themes are relevant to what I’m personally working on. This week, that holds true.

I just started my new job and the 9-to-5 world has to-do lists and deadlines that don’t exist for a yoga teacher. It’s inherently stressful. In this 9-to-5 world many years ago, I interviewed a new candidate and asked how she deals with stress. Her response?

“I just… breathe.”

She was fresh out of college, interviewing for an entry level position, and I initially dismissed her response as naive. Yet, in retrospect, it’s arguably the wisest thing she could have said. Over my 8 years practicing yoga, I’ve learned that the breathing tactics I practice during yoga’s physical challenges have become invaluable to handling stressful situations with composure off the mat.

At CorePower, every pose in the studio is prefaced with an “Inhale” or an “Exhale.” You may hear the following:
“Breathe into the bottom of your lungs.”
“Send breath to the sensation in your hamstrings.”
“Imagine your hips have tiny lung that expand with each breath.”

Why is breath prioritized? Why the breath-oriented visuals?

Breath in the rejuvenating life force. Seventy percent of toxins are released in our Co2. Slowing the breath slows our heart rate. It draws our attention to the present moment, the rise and fall of our lungs. Breath also tapers our open emotional reaction to extended holds in physically challenging poses.

I’ve heard it said: “Practice three days a week for yoga to change your body. Practice five days a week for yoga to change your life.” Practice breath that much in the yoga studio, and watch how your breath brings ease into every facet of your life.