“Your breath is a gauge for how you’re living your life.”
It’s so simple, yet so easy to forget. Breathe in, and out, and that’s really all there is.
This reminder came to me last week when I took part in a yoga class in Saint John’s ever-cool White Room, in the old post office on Prince William Street. Jay MacLean offered the class on Leap Day, Feb. 29 (his birthday), to raise money for National Anti-Bullying Day and the Boys and Girls Club of Saint John. It was also the same day I interviewed the still grieving mother of Jason Dow, a man who was brutally murdered in the street about a year ago. (Marina Dow says her son was bullied all his life, because he was gay.)
The feeling of doing yoga, breathing in and out deeply into stretches and poses with at least 100 other people that evening was incredible. It was grounding and strengthening. As the class began, it was bright and sunny. As the class progressed, the sun delicately set over the Saint John harbour.
The collective aura was so positive – one reason why I always enjoy group classes, whether it’s spinning at GoodLife or a boot camp class with the folks at Simply For Life on the west side.
In my drive to improve my health and fitness, which has actually become a fun challenge for myself, it’s easy to forget that part of that challenge involves taking a breath, and being in the moment. This simple necessity is so easily overlooked when I’m busy trying to burn as many calories as possible on the spin bike or on the treadmill, or planning my next meal (or treat).
I love how running and exercise can chase away the stresses of life, but sometimes, I think “breathing into” those stresses, as a yogi might suggest, is just as important.