BreatheWe spend so much time breathing out.  Talking, planning, doing, making, going, waiting, getting….we breathe out and out and out and then wonder why we’re so depleted and can’t catch our breath. We can never seem to get caught up, never quite get on top of things, even now as we’re coming out of the pause between here and there we’re ramping up to full speed for the new year with what we would like to think is renewed vigor but isn’t.

This is because we never take a full breath in. We never consider that we need to breathe into ourselves as much as we breathe out into the world. We somehow assume that we breathing out will give us the oxygen we need to keep going.  In some weird magic the breathing in happens for us as a consequence of breathing out, physics and logic be damned. Yet it doesn’t happen.  So we’re constantly short of breath, oxygen deprived, sluggish and resentful and straggling while our soul/body/emotions struggles to keep up and waits for any opening where it can get us to stop for just a moment.  That nagging cough, the cold that won’t go away, the nasal drip congestion, all of these are arrows pointing at where the problem is.  The body will echo what our choices are creating in other aspects of our life.  The solutions are similar as well.

It’s not just in yoga where we need to be intentional with our breathing.  It’s in the entirety of our life.  We need to breathe in as much as we breathe out. We need to make our health and well-being as big a priority as all the other priorities in our life. That means listening when we need to take a long walk instead of getting that one more thing done. It means scheduling the yoga before the hustle of getting to work. It means that the drawing, dancing, reading, games, nights out with friends, being alone in the woods, playing pool, throwing darts, making models, and pretty much everything else we categorize as “non-productive” so “will need to fit into left over time” needs to change to “priority” right along with hygiene and nutrition.  In fact, we need to think of it as nutrition.  We don’t only eat one thing for every meal. We shouldn’t fill ourselves with only work.  We shouldn’t just breathe out because eventually we’ll pass out and die.  We need to breathe in not only what sustains us, what is of critical necessity, but what fills us, nourishes us, allows us to enjoy living.