Breathe and Wait
Life lessons from the mat
My left bicep and tricep and forearm too, are all visibly quivering. I have nearly my entire bodyweight resting on my left hand and am trying to focus on keeping my body in perfect parallel with the wall beside me. Is it over yet? How many breaths has it been? Am I going to fall? So many thoughts are racing through my mind, all milling around the central idea that I’m doubting my ability to hold this sideplank and would like to move on to another pose.
And then I remember: Breathe and wait. I don’t know if it’s my “mantra” but it’s a concept to which my yoga practice has enlightened me and it has profoundly influenced my life both on and off the mat. I say “enlightened” because I remember the exact moment during a challenging class when it occurred to me that as much as I tried to avoid the exertion of some poses, I was really just 5 breaths away from both relief and the positive results I sought. The rest of that class was effortless; I could do anything if I only had to do it for 5 breaths!
Historically, as a self-diagnosed overanalyzer, I’ve worked myself up into such emotional, seemingly dire personal dilemmas that I was sure there was no coming back to reality. Sleeping problems, chronic pain, headaches – I’d self-inflicted them all. And not only did I overanalyze everything but I required an immediate resolution to every problem I’d pinpointed. I needed a way to talk myself down from these panicked states and beginning my practice at Inner Power Yoga offered me that. Once I had the method, it wasn’t long before breathe and wait revealed itself.
For me, this mantra isn’t about letting life pass you by, it’s about giving yourself a set time period before making that hard decision, taking action or simply releasing the pose. It’s amazing how many situations have either taken care of themselves while I’m breathing or have become easy fixes once I’m centered and calm.
At times a bit of self doubt returns when I think, I’ll have to do sideplank again tomorrow. And the day after that… But I can’t worry about tomorrow. All I can focus on is these 5 breaths.