When we entered this phase of rapid evolution, excessive competition, higher expectations, no one told us that coping with it would lead to further complications. While some of us take a step back and address it, most of us hardly even recognise it. Eliminating stress is probably out of our hands but what we can control is our breath — our life! We unknowingly store all kinds of stress and emotions in different parts of our body. Think about how your body language changes when you’re nervous or are given bad news — stiff neck and shoulders, hyper ventilation. Did you know you expel 70% of your body’s waste products just through breathing! Imagine how much you retain by not breathing right. I am constantly asked in interviews if I have a secret to maintaining sanity in my hectic lifestyle. Well, no secret really — I just remind myself to breathe.
Factually, most adult breathing is shallow or ‘chest breathing’ as it’s called. Babies, on other hand can teach you skilled optimal breathing. They are natural abdominal or deep breathers and use their diaphragm effectively. Do a breathing test on yourself to see where you breathe from. If you qualify as shallow breather, make the change.
When I was first introduced to Ujjayi or Ocean Breathing, I found myself getting vulnerable. It was embarrassing to have my eyes well up after every session in front of my teacher. It is hard to let go of pent up feelings — grief, fear, anger etc. The deeper I went with my practice, more pain (physical as well) came up to the surface and strangely my body’s instinct was to defend, contract and resist. I couldn’t really blame my body.
It thought it was doing the right thing. But I had to step in affirmatively and tell it — It’s OK!
I will breathe through it, I can handle it. Women going through childbirth are best examples of going with the pain. And in the end, they breathe life into a new life. It’s beautiful.
I’m so happy to share something this basic but vital that has changed my life. All I am saying is, oxygen is sexy — love it, commit to it, breathe it... It’s FREE!!