Thursday, February 13, 2014

Just breathing is enough to create change....

As I young man I would often get angry and sport and drinking was a way to tame that beast. Both were socially engaging and energy consuming.  Now that I'm older, I find that I'm more selective with regard to how I spend both my time and energy.  I now ask myself questions: what activities do I really like; whom do I want to do them with; and are the activity and the people I'm doing them with good for me.

This came to me as a realisation in my yoga class today.  The instructor made a comment about breathing and how it "can be enough" -  that is, if you are in a deep pose and you are feeling the burn, then breathe deeply and slowly though the discomfort.  Likewise when you are in a resting pose, simply breathe.

It made me think more about the power of both breath and yoga.  I now love yoga and I try every different school possible.  It's great as they are all different.  Growing up I believed that yoga was some New Age thing for chicks.  My first ever class was when I took a “sickie” from high school.  My mother quickly caught on that I really was not that sick and encouraged me to go to yoga with her.  It was just me and some middle-aged women.  It was when we started headstands that I thought: “Here is a chance to challenge myself”.  In fact it was an opportunity to embarrass myself – middle-aged women “killing it”, me huffing, puffing and falling.

Now I practice yoga, often hot yoga, to work out, sweat, stretch and just as importantly breathe.  It is the breath that centres you; it is the breath that you enjoy when you concentrate on it.  The fact is we all often need change.  The need for change comes from stress, illness, anger and sadness.  When you need to change the path you are traveling on or the way that you are thinking, just breathe.  Inhale, then release your breath and let go of what was.  Inhale and start again.

The main reason I am writing this is to encourage people to be happier and healthier.  So breathe.  Here are some tips on where to start. Just turn up to any yoga centre in shorts and a t-shirt and give it a go.  Just take that first step.  Similarly if you can learn to meditate in a quiet room or in the great outdoors facing the sun – that’s another opportunity to breathe.

My other two suggestions for feeling happier and to help achieve the change you want is to breathe at either the beach or on a walk in nature.  I find that the ocean has incredibly rejuvenating properties. Take a breath, dive under, surface and exhale.  It is enough to create change.  A walk in nature will do the same. Walk and breathe... it's enough.

The final tip is to make superfood smoothies.  It’s another easy place to start.  Go to a supermarket, health food store or farmers’ market and buy some superfoods.  Also buy some fresh foods to blend them with.  Blend them and drink them before and/ or after your exercise.

So to be healthy as well as to encourage change in both your body and mental state - breathe.  And of course, drink superfood smoothies ;)

Superfood Warrior