“Meditate. Breathe consciously. Listen. Pay attention. Treasure every moment. Make the connection.”
― Oprah Winfrey
I’ve taken up yoga again. It’s been a few years – actually since before my bicycle accident when I broke my collarbone and elbow.
I now remember why I enjoy yoga. It is good for strength, balance, and flexibility. And I feel good doing it. One of the central tenants of yoga is breathing. It is your focus on being present through your breath that makes the yoga practice.
I’ve come to learn that breathing is so much more than the act of exchanging old air for new air.
Each breath is an opportunity to appreciate the bounty offered up by the world.
With each inhale, we bring in oxygen and accept the gift of life. With each exhale, we share part of ourselves with the world.
The simple act of breathing can be magical.
You can extend your magical celebration beyond your breath to include your vision, hearing and all your senses.
Every time you look around, you can take in the beauty of all you see. By accepting the beauty, you practice appreciation.
Every time you listen, you take in all the noise of the quiet or busy world. By accepting the sounds, you again practice appreciation.
And simply by being, you accept the world and your place in it.
Let’s try it.
At the end of the paragraph, look away from this screen and be present with all your senses. Look with your eyes wide open, listen with your ears fully tuned and feel with your mind attuned to your place in the world. With each inhale, enjoy the feeling of unconditional acceptance, and with each exhale realize you are an active contributor to all you see, hear and experience.
Now it’s your turn to do it!
How did it feel?
“Mindful breathing is the vehicle that you use to go back to your true home.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh
Isn’t it amazing how effortless the act of intentionally breathing is? You can get so much benefit from each purposeful breath.
Now, you have a choice. Do you want to keep breathing the old way – just exchanging air – or do you want to breathe with appreciation?
Breathing is the ultimate example of micro choosing. You can choose to breathe with appreciation.
The choice is yours, and as we are fond of saying, “You can choose.”