January 7, 2021

Gratitude: Life Breath

Seems simple but it is so vital to be grateful for my life breath. Since starting the Veterans Yoga Project mindfulness resilience training earlier this week I have been practicing pranayama for extended periods each day. This is a breathing practice I studied when earning my 500-hour yoga teacher certification at The Yoga Room in Berkeley. Now, seven years after graduating, I am benefitting from the practice. 

Surprisingly, I never learned, until this week, the physiology of breath, or the impact on the nervous system. One simple insight, your heart beat slows down with exhales, has completely changed how I am accessing my breathing to reduce anxiousness. Taking extended exhales relaxes my body, clears my mind, allows me to be present, and releases repetitive, circular thoughts.

I have previously shared this image from my 51st birthday - a glassblowing class I attended just before we moved into sheltering in place. It reminds me of the beauty my breath can create. 

Plus, breathing reminds me of my Grammie who would have turned 104 tomorrow, January 8. She was a yoga and meditation teacher. Breath was vital to her practice and I will never forget seeing her take her last one. Miss you Grammie.