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Waiting to Exhale?

c. http://yogalily.com

I was instructing Mary, one of the ladies I coach at Curves,’ on how to do the yoga pose, “tree.”

“It looks absolutely perfect, but you’re not breathing.” I told her.

After I told her that she needed to take a deep breath all the way in through the nose, and out through the nose [if you breathe out through the mouth, it will dehydrate]; she did it 100% better. She no longer looked like a stone statue, but rather a living, breathing being.

We started to compare notes on anxiety, and I began to wax philosophical, comparing the “tree situation” with life.

As a writer, I depend on my computer, or at the very least, a notebook with paper on which I can record and save my thoughts and ideas. When I imagine what would happen to my writing performance if either of these necessities were taken away. It would most definitely thwart me.

Likewise, my brain needs oxygen to function properly. When the brain is not receiving enough oxygen, it has no choice but to go into panic mode. The primitive reptilian brain, or brain stem, leads the way. It is unable to “upshift” to more cerebral functions, therefore we are always in “attack” mode.

I told her I went through probably 2 decades of my life breathing shallow breaths, and wondered why I was always so anxious. It was because I was “reacting” instead of “reasoning.”

This is a very simple solution to a seemingly more complicated problem, but in my case, it made all the difference in the world.

c. 2011

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