Take a deep inhalation in through your nose and let it fall out of your open mouth with a sigh or a sound. What do you notice? How do you feel after each exhale?
What is called a sigh in everyday life is what we refer to as a falling-out breath in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy and many of the reasons we prompt this sort of a breath during practice, are many of the same reasons these breaths happen spontaneously in everyday life. Sighing, or using a falling-out breath, can be like hitting the reset button when daily situations and emotions cause your breath to stray away from it’s natural rhythm. Oftentimes, after a spontaneous or purposeful breath like this, you may feel some relief, as if you’ve dropped something heavy or had some weight lifted off of your shoulders. A breath like this can also happen as a way of transitioning. In Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, it is often used as a way of shifting gears between postures or areas of attention.
Take a moment here to consider what it might be like to notice every time you spontaneously take a falling-out breath throughout your day today? What would it be like to use this sort of awareness of your everyday sigh as a signal to return to some of the basic practices of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy?
Here are three simple Phoenix Rising Yoga practices you might try reminding yourself of the next time you notice sighing in your everyday life:
1) What’s Happening Now?
How about the next time you notice yourself sighing, asking yourself, “What’s happening now?” This question in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is used as a way of bringing you back to your present-moment experience. When you bring this practice into your daily life, you are noticing what’s happening internally with respect to your breath, body, emotions, thoughts, and what relationship they have to what’s happening in your external surroundings and situations. What else is happening right now in your day? Tell yourself more.
If you spent some time with your Phoenix Rising Yoga Practice this morning, you may have already set an intention for your yoga practice, which may carry into your day. The next time you notice sighing today, whether it be while you’re doing the dishes, or in the midst of a busy day at work, how about reminding yourself of your intention? If you haven’t already set an intention for your day, how about allowing the awareness of your sigh to remind you to set one now? If you set one early on in your day, how is it showing up, or not? Intentions are important in your yoga practice and in your daily life because they remind you of what’s important to you and what it is that you want to receive from your practice, your day, and your life, that can help align and tune you in to your personal aspirations and truths. Intentions are the seeds of change.
3) 20-Second Awareness Breaks
You just noticed yourself sighing again. How about letting this be a reminder to take a 20-second awareness break? By noticing your sigh, you have already generated some form of awareness. How about taking it a step further? An awareness break means stopping whatever it is you are doing for 20-seconds and coming back to the question of what’s happening now. Michael Lee suggests taking at least five of these awareness breaks per day. Awareness breaks give you the opportunity to momentarily step outside of what’s going on in and around you, and view what’s happening in a new light, from a place of silence and stillness, instead of wrapped up in the midst of it all. Awareness breaks can give you a moment to notice what’s happening internally, and give you a chance to reassess, regroup, and realign.
Sarah Bustamante Phoenix Rising Yoga Teacher