Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Just Breathe

Prana. Life Force.

          Breathe. But don't just breathe, breathe deeply. This was my homework for today. My yoga teacher told us to tell someone to breathe today. Inwardly, I cringed. Moving through my day telling people to "breathe" most likely wouldn't be received with the warmest of receptions, and so I thought perhaps I should provide some context.
          In yoga, breathing is everything. In Sanskrit, it's called prana, the word for life force. But even though our breathe is a life sustaining force, we generally pay very little attention to it. Often, individuals who are under stress, feeling anxious, and/or experiencing trauma tend to take shallow, quick breathes. But breathing deeply releases tension, detoxifies our body, relieves pain, and supplies much needed oxygen to our cells. During cold and flu season, breathing deeply also helps to increase circulation of lymphatic fluid, which is an important component of our immune system.
          On the wall of my yoga studio is the word "Breathe". I even have several articles of clothing with this same message. Because even after practising yoga for several years, I still need this daily reminder. Just breathe.
I need a daily reminder- breathe.

          Tomorrow we are all going "back to school" in BC. Already on Friday I had a grade 12 student come to me, anxious that they are already "behind" before we have even started. Grade 8s are anxious to get themselves situated in a large school with many new faces. Teachers are anxious to set up classrooms, plan lessons and prepare for an influx of students. Administrators are anxious to ease the transition for staff and students back into school and re-establish routines. We are all excited, and eager to finally be able to catapult ourselves into a new school year. But we are all also just a bit anxious.
          So, at the risk of being met with some eye rolling and snorts of disbelief, take a moment this week to remind yourselves, to remind your students, to breathe. We will all get where we need to be, by the time we need to be there. All we can do is our best. Just breathe.

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