I have been hoping to get myself to another yoga class after the work retreat that I went on a few months ago. That yoga class spoke to me. I felt such a much-needed release that day.

But alas, time and money have kept me from getting to go back so far. I could be doing some at home on my own, if I was so inclined.  But I’m unfortunately not so inclined. I’m more likely to be reclined. As in, on my couch.

But the one thing I have done are the breathing exercises. (I’ll use any excuse to use the word exercise pertaining to myself.)

Here it is: Take a slow, deep breath in for the count of eight. Hold it for the count of eight. Slowly release it for the count of eight. Repeat.

That slows the number of breaths you take during a minute down to just over two. That is some serious breathing. Once you get good, you can add more to your inhale.  When you think your lungs are full, stretch them even more.

And when I say stretch, I mean it. See, I am a shallow breather. I take in just enough oxygen to stay alive. It’s a bad habit or a personality trait, or I’m just plain that lazy. I’m not sure. About every hour I take one deep breath. (When I was hooked up to the monitors after giving birth, my oxygen monitor would beep at least every other minute.)

It’s not good. I know this. So I have been practicing this yoga breathing and it’s helping me to breathe a little deeper all the time. More oxygen in, means a better, healthier me. It also helps me when I’m stressed, or nervous, or nauseated. It helps me fall asleep at night.

That first day at class, I couldn’t really do it for the full 24 seconds. But with practice I have built up my stamina. For three days after that class, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. My whole chest area was sore from having expanded so much. Just one more way my body screamed at me to stop ignoring it.

So for now, yoga breathing and lots of it. Hopefully soon, a little bit of actual yoga.



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