Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Breathe and Control, Breathe and Let Go

Breathe and Control, Breathe and Let Go

Ok, I want you to humor me and participate in a little exercise.


First, close your eyes….

Wait actually don't. Then you can't read this...
But imagine your eyes are closed.

Roll your shoulders down your back.
Gently circle your head left and right.

Now seal your lips and take a deep breath in through your nose.
Hold it at the top for a count.
And exhale your deep breath out through your mouth.

You Have Control

I bet you felt it there, right?
Your chest expanding as you inhaled...
Your shoulders sinking as you exhaled..

Do you feel more grounded?
Do you feel a little more relief?

How about control? Did you feel in control?

You should, because that feeling right there?? You did that. You controlled your breath and you relaxed your own body.

Usually, we take for granted the fact that our bodies can breathe for us.

It was really difficult for me when I first started yoga and they talked about breath. I didn't really realize I had much control over it. It was odd to me, this idea of turning on and off my breath. The concept of breathing to guide my practice and manage my body temperature- it was strange.

The ability to control was frankly, weird.

The Consequence of Control

This concept of control began to translate off the mat.

Gradually, practice after practice... I had control over my life.

I had control over my career.

I had control over my choices and my surroundings and my relationships.

My control of my breath gave me control of everything else.

And it was beautiful because I was in charge of my life and my dreams and my plans.

Until it wasn't so beautiful and it became draining.

I had too much control which lead to too much responsibility which felt like too much pressure.

Ignorance is bliss right?

Finding the Balance

Growing up, my future seemed simple. I always liked working with kids so I always knew I was going to be a teacher. Just like that.

I truly felt like I had no control over my career. It felt natural, it felt like breathing. It chose me.

But now, I had control and I could do anything.

I could BE anything.

And I was overwhelmed with choices and possibilities and outcomes that I could pick and only I had to answer for the consequences of my choices. See that there? The pressure rising and rising all because I have so much control.

I stressed myself because I forgot something very important...

I forgot that the opposite of control is to let go. And that I needed to find that perfect dance between the two.

See holding on to control too much, or letting go too much... Well that was just going to keep me off balance.

So I reflected...
I realized it wasn’t a bad thing at all that teaching chose me. In fact, it was a blessing. While many others worried about their careers or what degree they were going to college for, I didn’t stress. I let God guide me to the right choice. I had confidence in my skills and abilities before I even knew what my skills and abilities were.

So now I appreciate the breaths my body takes without my direction and I work through the controlled ujjayi pranayama I take in class or meditation or when battling stress.

And I maintain confidence in my skills and abilities without attempting to control too much of the outcomes.

And I work hard but I don't stress about money.

I breathe and control.

But I also breathe let go.

If you are in a place where you are worried about the outcome of your choice, remember that the opposite of control is to let go.

Find that balance and dance of honoring your skills and abilities and making the choice to follow them.

Breathe and control.
Breathe and let go.

Sometimes it's not about chasing the sunshine, sometimes its about letting the sunshine find you.

Have you been following along with your August Intentions? Be sure to tag @ninabiina on Instagram and hashtag #AugustIntentions to let us know how your journey is going!

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