If I regret anything about tattoos, it’s that I didn’t get another one.
Don’t worry – I’m only half serious.
But had I gotten another, it’d have definitely been a watch on my wrist that says “JUST BREATHE, BITCH.”
As a chronic spastic, I have so much trouble remembering the first rule of life club: breathe. Suck in air. Push it out. It’s so simple, yet I find myself suffering from technology apnea all day long (*Page won’t load?! I’ll hold my breath as a show of defiance! That’ll show that fcckng machine!*) that it ultimately ends up carrying out into the rest of my day as an underlying theme of anxiety.
I suppose that’s why I love yoga so much. In fact, as part of my #30daysofnewthings venture, I’ve added in some new asanas (that means “pose” in yoga-nese) on days I’m not doing earth-shatteringly innovative things. The nice side effect is that it’s given me an opportunity to see that breathing like a person who’s not insane doesn’t just contribute to better decision making, a sense of self-control, or a feeling of overall well-being. Rather, much like that one kung fu dude said who played in all those movies my dad used to make me watch, I’ve learned the meaning of “when you master your breath, you can master anything.” It sounded kinda stupid the first time I heard it – like something a Disney guru with a stick might tell the young and naive tadpole before it begins a vision quest. However, during the past week alone, I’ve realized that correct respiratory practice makes up about one hundred and twelve-teen percent of the difference between nailing an “impossible” pose… and falling on your ass. If I get too excited and lose focus, I collapse like a failed Jenga puzzle. Maintain my airflow and body focus, and I’ve got it.
For example, there was no way I could do this.
Till I steadied my breath, visualized how my muscles would feel doing it, and then brought the two together:
And hell-to-the-no I couldn’t get this shit in one million years:
And to be fair, when I did get it, I only managed to hold it for one breath…
But as I collapsed, I was amazed I’d even managed it at all.
How? Where had my brain gone? What was I thinking?
That’s just it. It’s an altered state of being – much like drugs – where I’m free of painful thoughts.
Except with yoga, there’s something you can actually show for it after you’ve “come down”.