Beginner’s Breathing

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It could be that I’m getting old and
that my sense of fun has changed so much that I can no longer play
with others in the way I used to. It could also be that yoga is
having its way with me.

January first comes this year without
buffets and booze, without screaming, “10! 9! 8! …” (always a
horror story for me, that one, witnessing drunken, overenthusiastic
and sloppy tongues, party hats askew, friends confessing into
martinis that life’s gone downhill since grade seven).

This year, it’s all about breathing.
No joke. I’m breathing my way into the new year.

I’ll bet we’ve all done Ujjayi
breathing, the Darth Vader thing that slows the breath down during
practice. At some point, that breath leapt into my civilian life as
a de-stressing maneuver. I use it at the dentist, the car repair
place, and when I visit a new yoga studio.

These days, I am intoxicated (I mean
that) by alternate-nostril breathing, bellows breathing, and squared
breathing (all Google-able).

Yoga is about union, and breathing is
truly, madly, and deeply reputed to bring together body and mind,
sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (relax and repair)
nervous systems, conscious and unconscious, even life and death.

Read about it, if that’s your thing.
But if experience is your thing, try it. There is something about
yoga breathing that takes you flying, I swear. Once you try it,
you’ll feel as though your lungs have been sitting around on your
bedside table, doing not very much for most of your life.

Have you done this already? Is it a
part of your regular practice? If not, are you drawn by it, or does
it sound lunatic to you?

Thanks, thanks to yoga for all its
diversity, and for being the best way ever to bring in a new year.
And thanks to you for the conversation,


Kristin Shepherd is a chiropractor, actor, and speaker (About All
Things Wonderful) in North Bay, Ontario.  Join her on the
and on
and on

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