“I breathe in, I breathe out.
I become calm, I let go.
I smile, I am free.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese monk and peace activist)
This teaching is so simple, yet so difficult at the same time. Often our breathing mirrors our emotional state. When we are angry, our breath becomes hard and tense. When we are sad, we hold the breath, hoping to hold in the emotional storm. These daily breathing patterns come with us into yoga class. The hope is that we can undo this learned habit and breathe deeper and in a gentle way.
Ujjayi breathing (or victorious breath) is the sound that you hear in class much like the waves of the ocean. The breath should be exactly that- calm, fluid and gentle. No strain in the throat, simply air as it passes over the tongue. This gentle awareness leads us into a deep state of concentration where we know we can smile and all will be well. Anger, sorrow, joy, these are all parts of life. They are all fleeting and part of the journey. So breathe deep and enjoy life in the mean time.
I know breathwork has been the key to the changes in my life. How has changing your breath changed your life or positively impacted your daily living?