I generally will not run outside if it’s less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. I just get warm enough if it’s less than that. So this January in NYC, I started practicing yoga every day.
I have always liked going to vinyasa, flow yoga classes, where you move through postures fairly quickly, one breath per movement. I would leave these classes feeling strong and like I had worked out. In mediation classes, my mind was always wandering, and I itched to move. I always felt like I was wasting my time, sitting there on a mat, just breathing.
Two months ago when I started doing yoga daily, I began to understand the impact that yoga had on my breath and my mind. I had never before paid attention to the length of my inhales and exhales, whether I was breathing out of my mouth or my nose, or anything about the quality of my breath outside of a yoga class.
Now I have started to feel and listen to my breath when I begin to get anxious or sad about something, whether its when I am squeezing my way into subway car or when I miss my family or friends. When I focus on my breathe, I feel the way that it fills up my body, brings blood to my organs, and calms me – my brain, heart and spirit.
Just by the simple act of noticing my breathe, I feel calmer and more emotionally stable.
I also have started to take more notice of my thoughts. We constantly have hundreds of thoughts popping into our head, all fighting their way for attention. I found it has been useful to identify my thoughts as they are often tied to feelings, and by just noticing those thoughts, I can start to control feelings that I don’t want or don’t serve me.
I am by no means a master at yoga, or mediation, or anything like that, but after 2 months of doing yoga every day, I have noticed how my breath can change how I feel and how the recognition of my thoughts helps better control my emotions.
Or maybe I’m just slowly becoming a yoga, hippie person…
Do you know what your breath sounds like? What does it feel like?
Have you ever stopped to notice what you are thinking about?