Updated: May 15, 2020
We were all born with a superpower yet nobody ever taught us about it when we were growing up. I certainly didn’t learn about it from my parents, teachers or society.
Yoga taught me what it is and how to use it. It’s something I share with all of my clients and I want to share with you today.
It’s helped me through so many difficult and stressful times in my life and I know it will help you too.
The best part about it is that it’s available to all of us, anytime, anywhere. And it’s easy to access.
Our superpower and the one thing that will help you through anything is. . . your breath. And, more specifically, how you use it.
In yoga, pranayama is the practice of breath control. Prana literally translates (from Sanskrit) to “life force” or “vital energy” because the breath gives life. The practice of particular breathing exercises is known to clear the physical and emotional blockages in the body in order to free the flow of prana, or your life energy.
You might be wondering, “My breath is my superpower? How boring!” Superpowers, you might think, involve Hulk-like strength, photographic memory, conjuring fire from your hands, you know, all that stuff you see in sci-fi and superhero movies.
But don’t underestimate the power of your breath.
Benefits of mindful breathing include:
Boosts the immune system
Calms the mind and nervous system
Lowers heart rate
Lowers blood pressure
Decreases negative thinking and depression
Helps manage chronic pain symptoms
Promotes better sleep
Reduces the possibility of burnout
Promotes better sleep
Improves the capacity of the respiratory system (more important for our health now in the time of Corona than ever)
Here’s a quick guide to the Ujjayi breath, a staple in yoga, that will instantly create a noticeable shift in your mind and body.
So be the hero of your own life. Practice it until you're comfortable with it. Draw upon this breath practice everyday (if even for 1 minute) and especially when you catch yourself having a difficult moment.
We may not have control over a lot of things in life (which this quarantine has made even more evident) but we always have control over our breath. And this means we have control over regulating our own nervous system, balancing our emotions and better managing our stress levels.
If that’s not powerful, I don’t know what is!
We're all dealing with loss on some level these days (loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, loss of income, loss of life as we once knew it, loss of what's normal and familiar...). This means that we're all experiencing grief on some level too.
If you like this quick guide I shared and want more tools, guidance and support to help you get through your hardest days with hope and confidence, set up a complimentary 20 minute call with me. Whether you wish to work together with me or not, my promise to you is that you'll get off the call with at least one extra tool that will help you now. Set up your call with me here.
"Reconnecting with one's breathing is the first step in the direction of self-healing and self-realization."
~ Dr. Peter M. Litchfield