I hear it all the time and I thought I was doing it right, but apparently every deep breath I have ever taken in my almost 28 years of life has been a total sham! My parents failed me.
Allow me to elaborate. I’ve started doing yoga. It was only a matter of time before this happened. I had some pretty serious long term plans to pay for a gym and never go, eat like crap and drink most of my meals. Those plans were thwarted (unbeknownst to me) the moment my address changed to ‘kitsilaaaaaahno’. Don’t let that over-enunciated pronunciation fool you, I freaking love it here! I dread the day I will be forced to leave. I am terrified that one day my landlords will tell me they hate me and kick me out of the neighbourhood. (I’m almost positive they have the power to do that). Anyways, I digress… rewind, back on track. I love kits, thats why I moved here. I love the beach, I love the trees, I love that everyone is so active, even the strollers are made for seriously active activities. I bet the babies inside are doing downward dog and sipping kale infused coconut juice from their sippy cups. Not for me. There were two ‘typical kits’ things I wasn’t going to do. Buy groceries at Whole Foods and Yoga. Let me tell you how that went, Fail and Fail. After a year of living here the fresh ocean air got all up in my brain and screwed shit up! Now I’m spending $11 at Whole foods deli for a lunch sized portion of their steamed greens more than twice/week. (highly recommend it by the way. Its so delicious it doesn’t even make sense) Aaaaand not only am I paying for a yoga membership, I’m actually going! What has HAPPENED to me?
We have finally arrived at the point. Breathing. It is a huge part of actually doing yoga, which sounds like a lot of hippy dippy bullshit if you don’t know how to actually do it! Which apparently I did not. My idea of a deep breath was breathing into my stomach. It would end up looking the same way a cute little toddlers belly does, except on a 27 year old, its less ‘cute’ and more ‘I just had a giant sandwich and a large plate of pasta for lunch’. Soooo I wouldn’t breath deeply very often. I would do the normal shallow breath that we do when we aren’t thinking about it. My yoga teacher described it as the ‘fight or flight breath’. There is rarely any fighting in my life and even less flighting, so why am I breathing like that? She introduced me to this little exercise where you put your hands on the sides of your ribs with your thumbs around your back. Keep them there, now when you breathe, breathe into your thumbs. BAM! You’re transformed!! 🙂 Ok, so its not that revolutionary. I still breathe like I always have, but when I am conscious of it, I try to take in a few deep breaths throughout the day. Now when I am at the end of my yoga practice, taking my deep breaths and looking inside through my minds eye I think to myself … “What else did those jerks forget to teach me?”