Did you remember to breathe today? For at least 20 years, my post traumatic stress affected the way I breathed. I often “gasped” when startled. I breathed with shallowness and even held my breath at times when I felt I was in danger. The result: lack of oxygen to my brain and constantly remaining in a state of tension, rigidity, and anxiety.
It’s a hard way to live!
Several years ago, I attended my first yoga class. During that session on the mat, I remember thinking, “There is not enough action here! Not enough movement. I can’t stand this!” My mind and body had become so accustomed to panic mode that I knew no other kind of living and had forgotten how to relax. But over the past eighteen months, I have retrained my breath through yoga and can now breathe DEEPLY, mindfully inhaling and exhaling. Here are the benefits of yoga and deep breathing:
- A boost in immunity! I have not gotten sick in a long time because as I have breathed better and circulated better, all of my organs have functioned at an optimum level.
- Better sleep! My brain was constantly racing before, but now I use deep breathing to allow my brain to slow down. I am less exhausted and have much more energy.
- A Happier State! Studies show that yoga can help with depression and it has definitely helped with mine. I have a sunnier disposition.
- Better toned from head to toe! Yoga is strength training and you use your body weight to go from pose to pose.
A yogi once said, “A long breath equals a long life.” Do you get it? I finally do!