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Let's Take a Breath

When someone invites you to take a breath, you can’t help but…take a breath.

In all the yoga classes and workshops I’ve taken over the years, there’s something about the invitation, the reminder to take a breath that has somehow irritated me.

Being invited to take a breath causes an interruption of thought. Sometimes when I am invited to take a breath, I hear the annoyed voice of my ego saying hey! I’m thinking very, very important thoughts over here! Darn you and your let’s take a breath! I did not consent to being to told to breathe! And then I ask myself what was I was thinking about that was so important. I deflate as I realize…well, I was thinking about Kim Kardashian for some reason. So, I roll my eyes and I take that darn breath.

Let’s take a breath is a reminder to let go of whatever story your mind is creating and come back to the present moment through your body.

Recently I’ve been running into a number of teachers that don’t breathe. Yes, even yoga teachers! And I understand acutely what happens when we don’t stop for breath regularly.

Without breath, their thoughts come out so continuously fast and steady that after a while my brain buckles. I know they are speaking pearls of wisdom but their words hit my face like rice on a wedding day. Bouncing off my skin to fall unretrievable and lost in the dirt.

As I uncross my eyes, I hear the voice in my head say darlin’ please! take a breath! And I take one for them and myself and everyone else around me. In those moments, I really get it! We all need to breathe. Deeply and often.

When there is no awareness to breathe, there is no space for presence, for listening or silence. There is neither space to take in what has come before nor to rest and prepare for what is yet to come.

If taking a deep breath keeps my mind from seizing up and shutting down, I’ll fill my lungs from the bottom to the top every chance I get. And if letting the air out very, very slowly helps me from thinking about Kim Kardashian, well…that’s good too.

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