Last week, I participated in a yoga class – a class that I would never imagine doing again since I am usually a loud and boisterous person that can’t keep silly thoughts out of my head.
I thought I would give it a second chance especially after my Naturopath mentioned how the act of breathing plays an integral part of our day to day behavior. She recommended I take a yoga class to learn how to control my breathing and cleanse my mind. When she said this I laughed out loud and thought ‘how can breathing be strongly attributed to one’s mind and behavior?‘.
I have taken yoga classes in the past, but I often ended up laughing when poses such as “eagle”, “cobra” and “bow” came up. I never really connected with the class, nor was it something I really had my mind set up to practice on a long term basis. This time around, I had a nagging voice saying “Moe Moe, take this class and prove your Naturopath wrong”.
I learned that there are many different types and styles of yoga, the intricacies of this subject which are to long to explain at this moment. I also learned the word “yoga” means “union” in Sanskrit, the language where the word “yoga” originated from. Today, yoga is often portrayed in popular culture as a union occurring between the mind, body and spirit.
The focus for the class was ‘controlling ones breathing’. As the the instructor slowly counted, we were directed to synchronize our inhaling and exhaling with his count. As I did this, I noticed that my thoughts were slowing down, my sarcasm towards the class was starting to diminish and I was becoming more focused. For the first time my mind was feeling clear. As my breaths deepened, I started to experience something that I had never experienced before – tranquility.
I walked in the class with my “skeptic” hat on, but walked out feeling lighter. Not physically lighter, rather my mind was calmer and felt decluttered. You see, my mind runs at about 500 thoughts per minute. I usually think five steps ahead, and often people say “I’m lost?” because my thoughts jump so far ahead that my formulation of sentences often sound choppy or incoherent. So I didn’t expect to come out feeling rejuvenated mentally.
Since taking that class, I started to observe my own breathing and how it affects my mood that day. For those who hold skepticism to this post, I challenge you to do a simple activity. Take a breath. Now close your eyes and take a deep breath. Notice a difference?