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Reworking the Exhale

Trust me to get hit by another freight train of thoughts in yoga class, as always.

Lemme put it in context: for some reason, my whole yoga practice, has allowed me to open up my eyes to so many things that I didn’t realize I was doing. And while during the session I can still my mind and focus on the physical aspects of the practice and I just listen to my breathing and allow everything else to fade away, when I come out of the savasana I find myself always breathless (figuratively) and in awe of the messages being sent to me.

And so from today’s session, I came out with a random thought:

Right before our practice tonight, my yoga teacher gave me some feedback about my breathing. Errr…okay. Admittedly (and if you’ve been reading my blog you’d know very well how hard it is for me to just breathe and to allow myself to be still and listen), I struggle with that because I tend to shuttle between holding my breath in or forgetting to breather whenever things are hard or uncertain. When I breathe out during the session, apparently, I tend to blow out the air and open my mouth to exhale. I was told to try to keep my mouth zipped when I do so and just blow out the air when I exhale through the nose, that way I don’t let all the energies out and keep the heat (now that I write this I’d like to think of it as a life force) in.

Oookay….sure. That’s what I thought to myself at the beginning of the session.

As I was driving home, however, I realized that I do tend to blow out energies a lot. It’s funny, not too long ago I told someone that many times, I feel like the Little Match Girl, the one who kept on trying to keep a little flickering flame from a match going in the dead of winter. It dawned on me today that because I keep blowing out, rather than just releasing what is needed but keeping what is essential in, I waste a lot of my energies.

It hit me that I do waste a lot of my energies by being overly reactive to many things…”exhaling” with my mouth by being too noisy and restless. I often say that my tendency to be outgoing and bubbly is actually a cover up for my being very shy and insecure. By compensating, I realized, I do put on a front, but at the end, it becomes too tiring. I realize now the value of biting my tongue and just letting things slide. And now that I have become more mindful of that, I don’t sprout out verbal diarrhea as much as I used to. I have begun to realize that there really is so much more said in silence. Sure I still do every once in a while, but it has become much lesser now…and because I’m not always “emptying” myself out completely, I have what is essential for me to keep my heart and soul whole. Back when I would always just rattle away and get consumed in that expression, it often was very hard for me to write and to find something to be inspired about. Now, even when things are uncertain and even if there are bits of sadness in my heart or hurts that make me stretch, it’s not so bad.

In one way I guess the blowing out or exhaling through the mouth allows me to feel more comfortable easily, mainly because it releases things immediately. Take for example when I get ticked off at something, or feel anxious when I’m flailing, my gut instinct is to cry out and complain. I lash out, I say things I regret, and worse, I mess things up (again, hello there penchant for self-sabotage). It’s like an impulse, or a knee jerk reaction that releases pressure immediately, forgetting that sometimes, these are but necessary pains.

What I forget that sometimes I have to let things sit before it is ready…and I must be patient with it, even if it is uncomfortable and difficult because if I do, somewhere down the line, when things fall into place and become a habit, it will be much, much easier. And more importantly, that with a wee bit of patience, the bigger picture becomes clearer and everything falls into place.

Remember, Ri…silence…the quiet…discomfort (but do know that pain is different!!!)…these are friends too…so bite that tongue a little, okay?

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check out my other blogs! Fat Girl No More | Daydream Believer | Teacher Ria | OnADietDaw