Life in Seven Breaths

I went to Yin yoga for first time this week.

Yin yoga is a low-key form of yoga that goes at a slower pace.  It encompasses holding poses for five minutes or more.  I absolutely loved it.  During one of my recent restorative classes, I realized that I reached a milestone; I could relax fully into the stretch like yoga instructors advise.  Up to that point, I focused my yoga practice on form and accuracy and found it hard to relax fully into each stretch.

Now that I am able to just be in a yoga pose, yin yoga took me to a meditative state. As I laid on the yoga mat in a twist, I thought about my time home these past few weeks during my month of writing. I thought about my family. I thought about my friends. I thought about all the love and support that surrounds me.

With each thought, tears began to form in my eyes and I started to cry.

I did what most people do in that situation; I stopped myself and tried to divert my thoughts. I grew self-conscious that someone in the class would hear me. In the second that I diverted my thoughts, I thought about all the lessons I’ve learned in my voice class and learned about myself in relations to expressing my emotions. Then I thought screw it.  These are my real, honest emotions and I will allow myself to feel them in this moment.

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So many people struggle to express even the simplest emotions.  We have all learned to cover our emotions more often than we share them. And that is even truer for men then women. I had an ex that could not share his emotions because of how he was raised. I have a lot of male friends that struggle with their emotions and struggle when others share their emotions in their presence. Even some of my girlfriends cut off their emotions or water them down on a few occasions.

One day, in the safety of my voice class, I tried not to cry. My voice coach caught me and shared knowledge that freed me. He said that emotions flow with in us in waves. If we allow ourselves to cry it only takes seven breathes from the start of the tears to the end of the tears. Through this practice I have discovered it’s truth.

Note: If you haven’t cried in years and have bottled up your emotions, it may take more than seven breaths for an emotion to pass through you. If you wish to step into the practice of feeling your emotions as they pass through you in the moment, you will see that it only takes seven full breaths until you are at neutral or into your next emotion.

Emotions make us human and act as a guide of how we truly feel about a person or situation, if and only if, we allow ourselves to feel.

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