Lotus #8 – Breathe

Breathe….and go for it! September 2021

I had all sort of plans for this post  I was going to discuss how breath was a reoccurring theme when I was completing my aromatherapy certification program. I was going to discuss how I learned the role of breath control in playing the flute and swimming. How Yoga taught me to breathe into areas of my body to release them and let the energy move again. How important diaphragmatic breathing is to our body, down to a cellular level. And, finally I was going to link it all back to last summer when I made the connection to the American Lotus.

But then July came. The heaviness of July wore me down. Yep, even with sun and the slower pace. I thrive in the times between the seasons. Those liminal spaces are where my creativity and confidence live. Once the summer was in full swing I began to stagnate. Knowing the change of the season will slowly start to emerge gives me hope.

In times of stagnation, heaviness, I turn my attention back to the American Lotus. I remind myself that it grows in shallow water but then moves out to depths of 5 or 6 feet, just as I am able to ground myself first and then confidently move into unknown depths.

The stem in the center of the American Lotus draws oxygen into the plant. Oxygen. Breath is life. Like life, I cannot control my breath but I can awaken my breath to move through and with me. Breath affects how I receive everything happening around me. Being breathed makes way for life itself. 

Throughout the day, when I feel the heaviness emerging, I turn to a simple timed breathing exercise. I inhale, hold for a count of one at the top, and exhale for a longer count then the inhale. I maintain this rhythm for several cycles. The effect is that I drop into a place of ease, calm, comfort, and peace.

My breath joins my other lotuses each day and my creativity flourishes, my limbic system is nourished, and I am at my best for the divine work of supporting my family and community. 

There are so many resources for breathing exercises on the web. A simple search is all it takes to get started. When I am in need of targeted breath work beyond a simple time breathing exercise, I turn to: Britt Steele, Maya Tiwari, Jon Kabat Zinn, Yoga Nidra.

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