Breathing is Self-Care


“Inhale the present, exhale the past and the future.”
― Leticia Rae

This past week brought images of children in cages and babies being torn apart from their mothers. The dystopia is here.

Despite this, I’m encouraged by the outpouring of love and support for the people affected by family separation and ICE. There are many ways to help, but it can feel impossible to do anything if you’re struggling with your own problems. [If you haven’t already, consider getting involved or donating.] For those that are directly involved in this, or other community-centric work, it can be emotionally exhausting and draining.

Wherever you are in your journey, it’s vital to BREATHE. Pranayama (breathwork) induces a calming response in your body by triggering your parasympathetic nervous system. This slows your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, and improves your digestion.

If this sounds like too much, just start by breathing mindfully. Throughout your day, take moments to listen to your breath, notice the rise and fall of your chest, hear the sound it makes in your head. Maybe you start playing around with deep and long breaths. Take giant exhales, sigh them out, and be loud about it. ENJOY BREATHING.

If you’re the structured type, below are some basic pranayama exercises you could try:

 

how-to-do-pranayama
Click to enlarge

 

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.”
-Howard Thurman

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