Breathe. This is what I tell my clients all the time in the midst of their workouts. It’s one of the most important elements of movement- the breath and it’s often forgotten. What tends to happen is that you get so caught up in the difficulty of the movement and trying to push through it, that you forget the one thing that can actually help you- the breath!
It’s the one thing that can really center and ground us. The breath lets our bodies know that we are not in danger and everything is alright. It is a calming force and if we remember to tap into in when things are challenging it can help carry us through.
When you feel challenged in a workout or stressed in your daily life, if you take a moment to just take some deep breaths, your brain picks up on that signal and what comes is more ease and clarity for what to do next. It never fails that when I’m doing a workout and I start to hold my breath, the exercise becomes more difficult. However, when I breathe into it, it automatically becomes more bearable. The same goes in life outside of exercise. When something happens to rattle me or cause stress, taking a moment to close my eyes and breathe for a few moments creates a feeling of peace which then allows me to choose my next action from a focused mind rather than a frenzied one.
Like with anything else, it takes practice to remember to breathe. It may seem strange to think of breathing as a practice because we do it naturally all the time, however, deliberate breath is much different and requires much more awareness.
There is SO much going on around us right now and taking moments to take deep breaths is more important that ever. No, deep breathing in and of itself will not change the ills of the world or challenges you might be facing, but it will assist in calming that fight or flight response and help you take action with a feeling of safety and sturdiness.
So, I encourage you to use the breath as your anchor in those moments where things feel stressful and uncertain. Begin at the breath and see how that begins to shift how you feel as you move through whatever is placed in front of you. Just breathe.