So often I would tell myself to ‘just breathe’ whenever I felt anxious, depressed or angry. It never worked though, simply because I didn’t believe that it could.
I started (and quickly stopped) doing yoga early last year. I thought I was ready to commit to something that allowed me to spend less time on my phone — I wasn’t. It took me less than 3 days to go back to my usual routine, leaving yoga on the sidelines. Little did I know, yoga patiently waited for me to be ready, and when I was, my life became easier than it ever had been.
After a tumultuous end of 2018, I decided that 2019 would be ‘my year’ (ha, those familiar, haunting words). For the first time, I decided to write a list of goals I wished to complete throughout 2019, and to my surprise, yoga ended up on this list. I didn’t know how much power the words ‘practice yoga’ held, but now I have a daily yoga practice that has ultimately changed my life forever.
I quickly learnt that yoga is not about working on your body, but working with your body. It’s not about perfecting poses or your stance, but it’s about practice — and it’s truly as simple as that.
Throughout the poses and meditation, I have been taught to breathe deep and loving breaths that will help guide me (this breath is also known as Ujjayi breath or the ‘ocean breath’). Not only has it guided me on the mat, but off the mat too. I can breathe deep in times of need, and it takes me back to the time on the mat where I may have been struggling through my practice. The act of breath in my practice has helped navigate me through times of struggle in my everyday life.
Even though we are born breathing, yoga taught me how to truly breathe throughout the good and the bad. The practice that I have picked up on the mat has flowed through my life off the mat — and sometimes this breath is simultaneous.
All it took for me was showing up on the mat at home. When you feel ready to start, do it! It is life-changing.