As a young girl I suffered a lot from chronic asthma attacks. I was soon taught to breathe through my abdomen. This technique has helped me during many sleepless nights. With my Yoga practice I was able to learn additional breathing techniques. Techniques that when practiced with discipline helped me overcome asthma completely.
Being an observer of how I breathe in certain situations has taught me a lot about myself. It has showed me how I breathe when I am in a stressful situation. How I breathe when I am feeling sad or anxious. Even when I am really happy. This has also taught me that I can alter my state by changing the way I inhale or exhale.
Maybe you recognize the following situation in yourself. You are just about to speak in front of a crowd, or have that important meeting with your boss. Just before you enter the room, you find yourself feeling nervous. This meeting is very important to you. Your shoulders are high, your inhalation and exhalation are superficial and fast. Now picture the location in your body… Do you feel it high in your chest. The pressure? You can change this.
Observe your body. Same situation, you feel your body automatically entering the above scenario. Now picture yourself relaxing your shoulders. Even though your state of mind is telling you different. Tell your body to relax your shoulders. Just stop for 5 seconds. Don’t enter the room yet. Place your hands on your lower abdomen, inhale fill your stomach with air. Push your hands away with your abdomen. Hold your breath for 1 second and then exhale, making sure there is no oxygen left in your lungs before you inhale again. Repeat the process, feel your body becoming calm. Your mind has to surrender and you’ll feel in a different state to enter that room.
Once you change your way of breathing you will be able to change your state of being. Changing from being anxious, nervous, angry and sad to being calm, peaceful or confident. As humans we tend to underestimate our way of breathing and the effect it has on our emotions.
As inspiration on this topic I would like to share with you this video from Yoga teacher Seane Corn. She demonstrates four key yogic breathing techniques that can help you transform your yoga practice and achieve a new level of peace, centeredness and strength.
I would love to hear about your relationship with breathing. How does it influence your life?
Thank you for reading our Blog.
Every breath you take is a moment to Relax and Create!
I had the luck to travel at a young age. I left the Netherlands when I was eighteen years old. Tenerife and Mallorca were the beautiful islands where I started to discover my path. After working more then twelve hours a day in Mallorca, my body and mind could not take the pressure anymore. This forced me to reassess my life. Yoga entered my life in this difficult time. Focussing on the Asana’s, the physical part of yoga entirely. I loved the renewed energy yoga gave me and the way my body improved. Physical pains, like lower back pain disappeared. And reappeared when I would fail to do my Asana practice.
My love for Yoga grew and I decided to go to South India and study Sivananda Hatha Yoga. This 200 hour Yoga Alliance teacher training course taught me that Yoga Asana’s are only a small part of Yoga. It was a very confronting time, but this knowledge helped me gain peace in my mind and how to be the observer in my life. Of course it took a while to put everything in to practice. Things that were instantly obvious were again physical ailments that disappeared. Such as Asthma, due to Pranayama, breathing exercises. This gave me the discipline to continue with my personal practice. The more I continued with practicing all aspects of Yoga, the more I started to realize I had neglected my own boundaries.
Back in Mallorca I started teaching Yoga. It was a gift to be able to teach The Mallorca Ladies Club members and at The Rosemary Rhem Ballet school. Life there was beautiful, but I felt I was ready to grow and move on. I went back to The Netherlands to spend some time with my family and also to figure out my next location. Soon it became clear it was important for me to fall in love with my own country. I set up my own company Devi Health Center and started teaching as a freelancer in Almere and Hilversum. I got approached to set up a Wellness Center together with a business partner. Without questioning this possibility I dove straight in to this new project. I started teaching Yoga almost daily and in the mean time being the operational manager of our center. Working very hard, we got acknowledged by the Rabobank and became “Starters of the annual quarter”. Boundaries were still a learning process for me during this time. I felt unbalanced. I had to take a step back and remind myself of being the observer. I realized this was not the life I wanted. I did not want a successful yoga center in the city. I wanted to be close to nature and most importantly I wanted the freedom to create. I also realized our partnership was unbalanced due to my lack of boundaries.
The hardest decision was leaving the center. But for the first time I felt I was truly listening to my own boundaries. I was practicing what I was taught and what I was teaching with my whole being. During this time Richard was my anchor, supporting my every decision. We moved together to Scotland. Lived close to nature, and I got back into the role of being the student. I allowed myself to become one with all that I was taught. I felt connected with the flow of life. We got married in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. After this magical day and discussing a lot about what we each wanted in life individually we were ready to move closer to our dream.
We moved to Portugal. In Portugal I found out that I am pregnant. A beautiful surprise, which only makes my practice of boundaries so much stronger. Being a student of Yoga is something that will never end. Being a teacher of Yoga is a gift to me. My students are an inspiration and I am thankful when I can inspire.