It’s All About the Breath

Stop.  Notice anything?  No.  Check again.  Still nothing?  I’ll give you a hint, check within yourself.  Are you breathing?  Don’t throw the argument on the table that of course you are breathing, because you are alive.  Are you really breathing, mindfully breathing?

29I started a new improv class this past weekend which focuses on character development.  What I am learning in this class, is that one of the basics of getting into character is to pay more attention to your breath, body and how it moves.  In class, my instructor asked us to do several awareness activities.  One activity was in relation to the breath.  In checking in on my breath, I noticed I was holding my breath, which surprised me.  As a former voice class student, my entire training focused on breathing fully.  Noticing that I am not doing what I have been trained to do is disappointing.

In my new class my instructor stated that “we tend to hold our breaths during transitions.”

An example she gave is that we hold our breath when we move from sitting down to standing up.  Don’t believe me?  Try it.

I feel, that we often hold our breath in life transitions too.  We hold our breath when we are about to speak our truth or tell someone something that makes us completely vulnerable.  Think about the times you wanted to ask someone out, or profess your love to someone for the first time.  Did you hold your breath?  How long did you hold your breath?  Did you wait until the person gave you a response?  “Holding your breath does nothing for you, so just breathe.”  My instructor stated.  Adding to this wisdom, what I learned is in the moments where we hold our breath like when we are nervous, angry, sad, hurt, scared or vulnerable; those are the moments when we need the full expansion of our breath the most.  When we breathe fully in the hardest moments, we calm, comfort and ground ourselves which allows us to operate from a more logical place versus an emotional place.

Life gets hard.  And when it does, sometimes we hold our breath because we don’t want to feel some of our emotions.  Breathe in those moments too.  Emotions make us human.  Breathing will cause you to feel those emotions.  When you feel your emotions in the moment, they pass through you quicker.  When you hold or suppress your emotions, you suffocate yourself, which ultimately hurts your.   Stop.  Notice anything?  Life begins and ends with the breath, so as long as your are alive keep breathing even during your hardest moments.

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