In a recent yoga class, my teacher suggested we end class with Lion’s breath to “make room for your day.” Lion’s breath is a breath technique where you exhale powerfully through your mouth with your tongue hanging out… not very attractive, but very effective!
Make room for today
The teacher’s simple suggestion triggered something in me. In that moment I felt so full of yesterday (all my yesterdays) that I couldn’t imagine having space for anything more.
How do you create a vibrant life for yourself when you’re still holding onto the past? You can’t. Instead of building your future, you recreate your past. You end up having the same arguments again and again, end up working the same jobs with the same bosses, or dating the same person again! I don’t mean exactly the same person or job, but the recreation of the same dynamics in a new job or with a similar new partner.
How much room is there in your heart or your mind for anything new? I end all my classes these days by asking students to make more space in their hearts. I don’t know how they interpret “make more space in your heart”, but for me space in my heart means creating room for forgiveness, love and a sense of freedom.
Breath techniques create a feeling of spaciousness. When you breathe deeply you feel the space in your heart and mind expand. You feel full of strength and life. When you exhale fully, you experience a sense of emptying out, a sense of freedom and release. The breath techniques you practice in yoga create room for your day. You inhale the strength to carry on with love and you exhale to feel free. Free of the past and its repeating patterns that keep you stuck.
On those days you can’t make it to class, think about the power of your breath and how profoundly it can affect your emotional state and your life. Do you need to stop and do three rounds of lion’s breath before heading out your door?
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