I subscribe to Yoga Journal’s Daily Insights and occasionally, I’ll take the time to weed through the long list of spam emails in my inbox and find them. One of this week’s insights talks about the 5 steps to take to get closer to calm: Breathe, Relax, Feel, Watch, Allow. This seems simple enough, right? Not so much. For many of us, it’s hard to even get past step #1: breathe. My aunt, Pat, once told me that she’s spent much of her life “half-breathing” (in other words, never really breathing deeply enough to fully expand the rib cage.) It wasn’t until she started taking yoga classes that she learned how to do this.
Take a moment to breathe fully –but without force– right now. Do you feel your rib cage expand inside of you? This simple act renews us, no matter where we are or what we’re doing. As I tell my yoga students (and as many yoga teachers tell their students), breathe in to cleanse yourself, and breathe out to get rid of the “junk” (e.g., stress, anger, sadness, frustration).
It also got me thinking about breathe as an acronym. For me, BREATHE represents the following:
Because when you think about it, it’s not enough to tell people to breathe, relax, feel, watch, allow. If you’re like me, you want to know how these 5 steps will help you, as in…what will the results be?! Transcend, heal, and elevate. But do not expect immediate results. As Michael Singer writes in The Untethered Soul, transcending is not something you can do, it’s something that happens to you. So for now, all you can do is breathe.