As someone who discovered yoga in my early 20s, I became aware of the art of breathing at a relatively young age. I was surprised that I already had a natural knowledge of this art, being lucky as a child to have had many years of living in the countryside and expeiencing a simpler life. My blooming yoga practice was the first big step in my path of mastering it. Anyone who has tried a yoga class will know that your flow revolves around the breath (*inhale, hands over head; exhale, arms to the sides, bring hands to prayer… inhale arms over head, exhale forward bend… etc.).
During my yogic journey, I have come to greatly value the impact of a yogic breath. This started to seep into other areas of my life. Working with dual diagnosed youth the art of breathing led me to become a more patient and open support worker. It allowed me to slow my own emotions down completely and really look at the picture in front of me, how it impacts me, and how it’s impacting the person before me. Through breath I was able to not “own” the emotions being projected, but rather filter through it and hear what the real messages were (fear, hurt, loneliness, confusion, etc).
Going forward from this, I perfected this skill of breathing—listening—reflecting. This skill grew strong in my roles as a parent, a birth doula, and now in my work with children who are on the Autism spectrum. I have to admit, that the breath-listen-reflect cycle did not become a true art until I was able to realize and express gratitude. Much like meditation, one needs to breathe—listen to the messages—reflect on them—and be grateful. In becoming grateful I have learned to appreciate life experiences for what they are; opportunities of gratitude. With gratitude I was also able to come to learn to set intentions. Intentions that are windows to appreciation for little beauties, gifts, and opportunity.
As you can see, the art through learning the art of breathing, you can hold the key to living a full and beautiful life. The breath holds doors to opportunities and can bring calm to the storms of life.
Song: Ingrid Michaelson- Keep Breathing
“You can hold the key to living a full and beautiful life. The breath holds doors to opportunities and can bring calm to the storms of life.”
On a grander scale, the art of breathing (breath-listen-reflect-gratitude-intent) transfers to our global footprint. Often when you think of ones global footprint we think of the environmental physical impact to the earth. I am referring to the footprint we make social-emotionally. Food for thought 🙂
I find when life gets to be a whirl wind, I then intentionally increase my art of breathing practices via my yoga practice, in beautiful moments in my day (such as the sunlight warming my face—it’s like a hug from the sun), to the visual arts I practice at home. I am big fan of the latest colouring books for adults trend. In addition, I like to loose my self in introspection while delving into the tiny dots while mindfully creating pointillism.
The art of breathing has been a way for me to slow down and really soak in and appreciate the true beauty of life and people. I encourage you to take a moment each day to develop your own breathing practice. I promise you your life will feel brighter and fuller.