Letting go into Happiness

November 14, 2020

Yoga reminds us of the best tool for letting go – the breath

We can choose to let go, relax and soften at anytime just by consciously making our exhale long and smooth.

 If you’ve been lucky enough to have been taught how to breath properly in Yoga you will have one of the best techniques for making the breath super long.  We’re talking anything between 12 and 20 seconds per exhalation with a little practice.  That’s a big release.

 But its easy to forget about the breath if you haven’t been trained in a breath-centric practice. Or if your Yoga teacher has never emphasised that EVERYTHING in Yoga hangs off the breath.

 I remember once a new student coming to class announcing proudly that she had done Iyengar Yoga for 40 years.  When I asked her if she knew how to breathe using these specific techniques that I’m talking about she looked very vague and nodded an unconvincing yes. I was puzzled as to what she had been doing for the past 40 odd years.

 Needless to say you get my point that everything is about the breath.  Science is now catching up with what the Yogis knew thousands of years ago that by consciously controlling our breath we can control and change our physiology and emotions quickly.

 The exhalation in particular allows us to release and let go.   We can’t force or use our will on the exhalation (unlike the inhalation).  We literally have to let go in order to breathe out.

If we are able to keep letting go consciously with long exhalations something profound can start to happen. We can move into a state of rest and digest.

 Being conscious as we exhale also allows us to soften into presence and with some practice what arises from this state is happiness or contentment.

 In Yoga it’s called Samtosa, which refers to the internal, unchanging contentment that each of us has inside.

 So even in the face of external challenges or something as massive and scary as the current Covid-19 epidemic, we can still maintain a sense of inner contentment rather than being pulled into anxiety, anger, despair or whatever emotions arise.

 If you would like to find out more about cultivating Samtosa and reducing anxiety and stress, then sign out for my newsletter to find out more Yoga Therapy for Anxiety which will be coming soon online. 

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