Remember to Breathe

Remember to Breathe

I started yoga again last week after a long hiatus.  The hiatus wasn’t due to injury.  It was purely based on getting into the swing of NOT exercising.  It’s a hard habit to break, especially this time of year where it is so much warmer in front of your fireplace or under your covers.

The results have been plentiful already.  My energy is up even though the sun is gone around 5 pm.  I am NOT a morning person, but I’ve still been making it out of bed for my morning yoga class or for starting work nice and early.  The cold is not as rough on my joints. However, my favorite result has been REMEMBERING TO BREATHE!

I know, we’re supposed breathe without thinking about it, but do you ever feel yourself catching your breath when you’re stressed? The interesting thing about that reaction to stress is that it only adds to it.

Somehow, the holidays have become a stressful time of year.  It’s all about gift buying, traveling, and all of these things that we feel HAVE to do.  Remember, you don’t HAVE to do most things, but you do have to remember to breathe.

Pause for a moment and focus on your breath.  Are you breathing only into the top part of your lungs?  Is your breath caught behind tension held in your chest?  What if you breathe deeper than that?  What if you take it in very slowly, down to the base of your lungs?  Start at the bottom and keep inhaling until you fill yourself up.  Hold for a moment and slowly let go.

Notice how this one breath releases the tension from your chest.  Now imagine what a series of deep and beautiful breaths can do for you.

There are many established methods of relaxation techniques based on breath, muscle relaxation, visualization, or even meditation.  Find out what works for you and remember to take care of yourself.

Here are some basics:

~Meredith Deloca, Assistant Spa Director PDX

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