• Grace Elliott

Okay, but are you breathing?

In short, yoga saved my life.


I’m not talking about making sure my Warrior II looks picture-worthy, I mean the mental and physical awareness, the discipline, the meditation, the ability to listen in on my body, and even the spiritual practice. It has really made a lasting impact on me.


Integrating yoga and mental health goes beyond the relaxation and stretching. It allows us to enter a space of awareness so we can take another perspective on our lives. It encourages us to listen to our bodies so that we can better care for ourselves and fulfill our own needs. It creates a space where it’s just you and your mind working through the mental chatter, exterior pressures, and interior doubts.


I always start my sessions with some breathing exercises. Every single day, the average adult human takes approximately 23,000 breaths and change. Now ask yourself: how many of those breaths do you take intentionally?


Most of the time, our brain and body runs on autopilot and we are lulled into the sway of our shallow, mindless breaths. Our thoughts just going and going on about all of the things that make up our life, and quite frankly- most of us are not really taught how to “hard reset” our brains. So YEARS go by before we learn how to tell our own minds to quiet down, and that’s IF we’re privileged enough to even have access to that information.


Breathwork has revolutionized my yoga practice.


It has made lasting impacts on how I perceive my life. At this point, I’m quite convinced my anxiety was, in part, a result of an oxygen-starved brain. Sure, not to say I don’t still have anxious bouts, but nowadays it doesn’t evolve to full-blown panic attacks and I can thank my breathwork for that.


The full yoga practice, and lifestyle change isn’t a “dirty hippie” thing, mostly not in 2019. It’s about accepting that you are machine you need to oil, repair, and care for in order to work effectively.


We’re constantly finding ways to “unplug” by consuming content that doesn’t require much thought. Reality TV, YouTube tutorials, viral videos- whatever your poison, all you’re really searching for is the OFF button for your brain.


The effects of that unplug period you’re looking for can be better sustained with a yoga practice. It’s about moving slowly, focusing your attention on every small movement, quieting your mind by counting your breath, and showing yourself some real love.


So before you finish reading this blog, do yourself a favor and take a deep breath.


Inhale 1...2...3...4…


Retain your breath 1...2...3...4...5...6...7…


Exhale 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8…


And remember to come to this every time you need to catch a break!


In breath and motion,

Grace

@breathandmotion

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