My Victorious Breath

Yoga teaches a type of breath called ujjayi (ooh-JAH-ee), which means ” victorious” … Inhale, you move into pose, and exhale – – you move out of pose.  Sounds simple enough, yes?  Then why in the world did it seem so complicated in class today?  Maybe because I’m stressed out to the max? Maybe because I know absolutely nothing about Yoga and am learning as I go along?  Regardless, when overwhelmed, center yourself and take a deep breath.  This is true in Yoga – and in LIFE.

I love this quote: “Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts” ~ said by Thich Nhat Hanh 

So what the heck is ujjayi and how do you do such a thing?  This breath will involve a small contraction of the glottis (the upper opening of the larynx) and partially closing it with the epiglottis.  Basically, the natural movement that happens as you swallow. If you do this correctly, you should hear a ‘hissing sound’ – such as an aspirant ‘hhhhh’ – like blowing your breath on a cold window to watch it fog. The sound shouldn’t be bold or very strong, as that could bring some strain to the vocal chords, yet it needs to be  audible to yourself, the one doing the breathing.  When you inhale and exhale, the durations should be equal … and they should be long and deep.  You might not be use to doing this kind of breathing.  Your breaths may be shallow and short.  That is okay.  Practice.  Yes, practice breathing.  Remember, breathing is your bridge to life.

I knew this information already, well kinda .. I mean I knew you were suppose to focus on your breathing when exercising, and I knew about deep breathing … but knowing it and doing it are two different things.  It also always seemed a little like some ‘new age’ hippy holistic kinda crap that was not really necessary.  Not trying to be obnoxious, just being honest.

So here’s the thing.  You know there’s always a ‘thing’.  I typically manage my life and my emotions and my obligations pretty well.  I’m all about balance, family, Faith and enjoying the journey.  But I am also human, and I also live on Planet Earth, and sometimes you just get caught in a crapstorm and the best you can do is just survive and move forward.  You eat your elephant one bite at a time.  The month of September is honestly just going to be chaotic.  I can’t avoid it, the best I can do is manage it and be proactive.

Yesterday, in the midst of one crisis after another, this firefighter mama was tired of extinguishing flames and decided to take a break.  I stopped what I was doing, mid-frustration, grabbed my boys, went to the pool, slid down a water slide and just had a big fat splash of a time.  I enjoyed my children.  I came home, went back to work, calmer and better focused.  Better armed with a plan. 

Today was a myriad of disaster mitigations, but I stayed true to my core values.  I did not curse out the crazy lady at the  school district offices, despite my temptation.  I eliminated unnecessary time restraints.  I delegated tasks that were able to be delegated.  I solved a huge problem with persistence and critical thinking. But most importantly … I remembered to breathe.  I remembered to find my center.  I did my workout, despite an overwhelming schedule.  I did not sell my soul to a bag of Cheetos or use cookies as my counselor. Now I may have inadvertently snapped at my husband once or twice, and for this I just apologize and appreciate his Grace.   

Maybe someday I’ll share with you all the comical details of the past few days and the ridiculous amount of stupidity thrown my way, but alas for now, just trust me when I say … there is beauty in our victorious breath .. like a child blowing bubbles!


                                                           My Son Thomas

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady
{Although today I felt more like the crazy lady on a mission}


Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “My Victorious Breath

  1. Great blog, Debra! And I’m gonna pat myself on the back and say I get a little credit for it, even though I probably do not. 😉


  2. well of course you get credit 🙂


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