The other night I was immensely blessed when my in-laws offered to take both of my children overnight.
Know what that means?
I cleaned my house top to bottom, prepped all the meals for the week, did the monthly budget, organized the pantry, and learned Mandarin.
I love yoga. It’s the only exercise I’ve ever done which I genuinely enjoyed. Maybe it’s because it’s not cardio. I hate cardio. The only time I want to be huffing and puffing and sweating like I do when I’m doing cardio is if I’m either being chased by a knife-wielding vulture-bear-whale hybrid, or if someone is offering me a lifetime supply of nachos.
But yoga… I can get behind that. The stretching, soothing music, and breathing is my kind of exercise.
It’s the breathing thing that struck me the other night. When I first began the routine (I know “routine” sounds impressive but remember I only did it for the length of a long commercial break) I began inhaling deeply as you’re supposed to do but…
They weren’t actual deep breaths. They were short. Shallow.
It actually took me a minute (or 25% of the time I was actually doing yoga) to reach a point where my breaths were the deep, powerful, calming breaths they’re supposed to be.
The next morning when my gallon of coffee kicked in, I was thinking about yoga the night before. Know what I realized? I was holding my breath. As I was thinking about my lack of deep breathing the night before, I was actually holding my breath.
Why am I holding my breath? I asked myself. I’m not diving into a lake or doing a Veruca Salt impression. I’m just doing my day to day things. Is my day to day life really that stressful?
Sadly my body thinks it is.
That night when I broke out the yoga mat and flowed through the poses with the grace of my uncoordinated toddler learning to walk, I learned a lesson. I wasn’t taking care of me. For crying out loud, I wasn’t even breathing all the time. That can’t be a good sign for my future.
I’ve decided to start taking more conscious deep breaths throughout my day. When my kids repeatedly take the lids off of their sippy cups and splash in the newly formed milk pond, I want to take a deep breath before reacting. When things are steaming and boiling and frying on the stove and my children are whining for my attention, I want to pause and take a deep breath before speaking to them.
It’s a step towards taking care of me. The better me I am, the better parent I’ll be.
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