“How often do you think about breathing?” Ginger asked me.
I lied when I told her, “Almost never.”
That was code word for, “Whatchu talkin’ bout, Ginger? Never!”
We had met for my individual consultation Begin Within offers to Veterans, service members, retirees, and their immediate families. I had never heard of this type of session, but wowza! Ginger talked to me about my health, my body, my breath, and then some, and that is when she asked me how often.
She explained to me then, as she does to some degree in every class, that the breath was the most important part of the work we would be doing. She said it was was not just a thing, but that it was EVERYTHING.
And, then one day, I realized I was breathing. Nope, not even in class, just right there, in my car, at a light, pulling that air in through my nose, expanding my belly, and lengthening my exhale as much as I was able. I started paying attention to it. I started putting effort into breathing correctly and stretching out that exhale, sometimes even doubling the time it took for me to take the air in.
In class. In the car (where I practically live). While I worked.
I also took notice that during times I felt more anxiety or stress, I would bust out in my Dubai breath (yes, I know that is not the correct name, but I have this thing where I rename things to words I actually can remember, so yoga breath = Dubai, so there). Even better, I realized that as it was becoming more automatic, my Dubai breath was helping me chill out
I have two adult kids who have both moved home within six months of one another. They brought their stuff, their ideas, their clutter, their mustard stains on my counter tops, their underwear on the floor of my bathroom, a cat (to whom I am allergic), and dear Lord, they brought me their never ever ending supply of words. I cannot properly quantify the amount of words and syllables I was hearing from the moment life began to stir in the house each morning until I was blessed by the blanket of slumber. Bless their hearts, they come by it honest. They get it from their Mama.
Buuut, their Mama loves her silence, too. And when silence is infrequent, my kindness wanes.
One day, as one of the constant conversations was coming to what I hoped would be an end, my son sat on the other end of the couch. Still talking, contemplating his navigation of life, I found myself exhausted and starting to stress out. Then he asked me, “Mom, why are you breathing so loud?” I immediately took notice that I was, indeed, unintentionally well-entrenched in Dubai breath. (I think that’s how he lived to talk another day.)
So, regardless of where you think you cannot put your foot in relation to your left hip, you can do yoga.
Because you can breathe, you can do yoga. I promise.
*Stacie is a student at Begin Within Yoga and Wellness. She is a wife, mom, cancer survivor, small business owner, and dog lover. She loves sports, talk radio, and cookies.