I finished my 40 day yoga challenge last week and reflecting back, it was a transformational process in many ways. I met great people and was exposed to the healing power of yoga, both in mind and body.
The experience was a chore at times as the studio is a 35-45 minute drive from home, but once it became part of my daily routine, it was something I looked forward to.
What I learned:
When living in constant comfort and usual routines, there is no opportunity for growth. By trying something new and feeling the “workable edge” aka pushing one’s limits, is where both personal growth and boundaries of what’s possible are redefined. This led to me adopting a mindset that I don’t know my boundaries, which removes preconceived limits and freed me to try something new and see what happens. This mindset has been positive because it promotes taking action, which is the beginning of all personal growth.
The Power Of Diaphragm Breathing:
This was a huge change for me as I was a chest breather/over-breather. This was not an issue in everyday life, but when I faced anxiety or a panic attack started, chest breathing caused the feeling that my lungs were tightening, which led to more chest breathing. This disrupts the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide, which triggers the body response to correct this situation, leading increased physical sensations and it all snowballs downhill. Balanced diaphragm breathing allows an even amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide to be maintained, which is optimal for the body. Diaphragm breathing also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, aka the calming system which keeps us relaxed and allows the adrenal glands to recover after an anxiety attack.
The Need To Rebalance
Life is busy, with information and thoughts bombarding us every minute of the day. Yoga has taught me the importance to recenter and calm the mind through focused breathing and meditation. This practice has produced significant clarity of thought, which has led to better decision making. I’m incorporating this practice into my daily routine and am seeing the benefits in both my personal and professional life. I highly encourage you to try it and see what benefits it produces for you.