My Breath Supports Me // 11.29.21
A new + beautiful way to experience Mondays.
My breath supports me. I am supported by love.
Sit with a tall spine and relax the belly and the shoulders. Move the chin towards you, just a little. Breathe in and out through the nose.
Conscious breathing. More on that below, but worth starting here. Breathe in and out, low and slow, and repeat.
My breath supports me. I am supported by love.
So glad you’re here.
Fun Tarot Card Reading!
Use your intuition to guide you to a specific card below. Choose the card with the crystal on it that calls to you.
At the end of this newsletter, you’ll see the cards flipped over, with a reading for each one. The card that you choose here will have your reading for the week.
Wait to scroll down to the bottom until you’ve chosen your card!
Card 1: Amethyst Choose this card if you need a little help removing mental clutter.
Card 2: Angelite Choose this card if you would like a message from your guides, or if you need help healing emotionally or mentally.
Card 3: Rose Quartz Choose this card if you want some information about love in your life.
Class Schedule This Week:
Friday from 6-7pm. Yin yoga at Sruti Yoga Center.
Tuesday: noon // 1 hour flow
Tuesday: 5:45pm // 45 minutes Yin Yoga
Thursday: noon // 45 minutes flow
Friday: 7:30am // 45 minutes gentle flow
Zoom link to all classes at themobiyogi.com and DM/email Rachel for the password. All times in Eastern.
Free Breathing “Retreat” is Monday, December 6 from 8:15-8:45pm.
Four Ways to Conscious Breathing:
Breathing. We do it all day, every day, and usually without thinking. Because we don’t have to think, really. Our bodies are designed to breathe for us, without us even noticing.
And our bodies are designed well! We have evolved to breathe for the exact stressors I know we all experience in our daily lives: running from lions on the savanna. We have large nasal cavities for taking in hot air quickly, jaws wide and strong from chewing barely cooked meat (perfect air holding cavities), and we mouth breath only when very, very stressed (re: running from lions on the savanna).
We all experience this, right? I don’t know about you, but I spend my days ONLY stressed out if there’s a lion coming at me. The rest of the time, I’m happily chewing charred meat and resting.
Ok, so our bodies haven’t evolved to suit our present moment. Actually, they’ve devolved.* Our phones cause our bodies to be under the same amount of anxiety as running from lions. Our nasal cavities have gotten smaller, and it’s much harder to breathe through them. We drink our food (mashed, smoothie-d, soup-ed, juiced) so our jaws have also gotten smaller and weaker. And we are always very, very stressed. The bad kind of stress, not the “I have a challenge and I will rise to it” stress.
I keep hoping one or two of you will show up to my free monthly breathing “retreats”- one Monday a month from 8:15-8:45pm Eastern (the next one is December 6th!). Just 30ish minutes of conscious breathing to hopefully help form new habits in order to combat the devolution of our body functions and to reduce anxiety. In lieu of my little free retreats, though, I hope you’ll take me up on four ways to consciously breathe.
You can do these breathing techniques when you’re still waking up from sleep, or before you eat, or when you have a free 5 minutes at work. Each technique is different but they all basically do the same thing: allow you to be present, to pay attention to your breath, which in turn allows you to breathe lower, slower, and longer, which then calms down the parasympathetic nervous system, that thing that is always heightened because you’re mindlessly running from this meeting to the other, from this text message to Twitter, from this thought to the next.
With all of these, it takes time to feel like you’re doing it right. But trust me, if you’re consciously breathing at all, you’re doing it right.
Sit tall, lie down, or come to all fours. Begin to inhale deeply through the nose (this doesn’t mean gasping, it means low and slow into the belly). Imagine you have a flotation device that wraps around your low belly, side ribs, and low back, just above the hips. With each inhale, blow up that device, feeling your breath wrap around you (360 degrees).
Start by doing 5 breaths. As you progress (after a few weeks), move up to 10. That’s all you need.
PS- this one is great as an inner core workout. Really- conscious breathing strengthens your muscles!
Four, four, four, four. Or, two, two, two, two. Or, any low number, really.
Sit up tall or lie down. Inhale through the nose and count to four (or two). Hold your breath for four (or two). Exhale for four (or two). Hold your breath for four (or two). The idea here is that you are inhaling, holding, exhaling, holding for the exact same amount of time.
This breathing technique is practiced by Navy SEALS during their training. It immediately calms the nervous system down, but only if you’re OK with holding your breath. If you have trauma around breath holding, for whatever reason, this might not be the exercise for you, although you can certainly work up to it if you feel safe!
Start with shorter breaths and breath retentions, and graduate to a four or even a six count. This is a good one to do right before bed.
I’ve already written about alternate nostril breathing, so check it out here.
It’s great for balancing your yin and yang, for digestion, and for a nervous system reboot.
Or, resonant (coherent) breathing.
This is the one widely used by meditation apps and you’ll be familiar with it if you have the Apple Watch.
Sit up tall, or lie down, spine long, belly and shoulders relaxed. Exhale to begin.
Inhale through the nose for 5.5 seconds, expanding the belly and the lungs, breathing low.
Without pausing, exhale for 5.5 seconds, emptying the belly and the lungs.
Without pausing, inhale and repeat.
This is continuous and should feel like you’re breathing a circle in and out.
Repeat at least 10 times.
*paraphrased from so many sources, but to name two:
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health // Pranayama in Yoga
James Nestor, Breath
as always, consult your physician before beginning an exercise or breathing routine.
🌗 Moon Info This Week! 🌗
New Moon alert! It’s on Saturday, December 4th, US Eastern time and in Europe, and Friday, December 3rd US Pacific.
The New Moon is a time of new beginnings, of renewal, of connection.
If you’re interested in a New Moon ritual, here’s a good one (thank you Diane for reminding me!):
Find a candle and put it in a bowl of water (just an inch or so). As you light the candle, speak out loud a wish, intention, or affirmation you’d like to see manifested. Let the candle burn out entirely without any interference (this is where the water comes in!).
Obviously if that’s not possible for you (small children, leaving the house for days, etc), snuff it out, and relight it as soon as you can.
You could also take a new moon bath. I’m very into bathing rituals, which come up in all religions, and I love a good mikvah. Also, Insight Timer has some good New Moon meditations.
We Support Each Other
There are two beautiful ways you can support my work writing and teaching yoga!
Forward this newsletter on to anyone who might want a little love! Ask them to subscribe! Tell them you love them!
Come to one of my online yoga classes or schedule a private class, tarot reading, or reiki energy session!
Thank you thank you!
Your Tarot Reading, Revealed!
Card 1: Amethyst // Nine of Swords. Ok hey there. Did you skip the bulk of this newsletter and go right to the cards? Scroll back and read the blog. You need a little rest, respite, and some good breathing techniques. I’m not kidding— your mental clutter and lack of focus is not your fault, but can be under your control. Take some time during the day to sit and breathe, eyes closed or focused on one object. Find time in your week when you’re not listening to, reading, or watching anything. Go for a walk and move with your thoughts. You can do this, and you need this.
Card 2: Angelite // The Magician. Ooooo this is a GOOD one. You’re asking for guidance and advice from your spirit family, God, or whom/whatever you believe in, and here it is, loud and clear. 1. Unite your spiritual beliefs with your actions here on earth. Be clear and radiant in your actions, words, and thoughts (notice his hands pointing to the heavens and down to earth). 2. You have the tools you need to get what you need (see his table). If you are a prayer, pray. If you speak to your loved ones and guides out loud, keep doing that. They are your tools but you have to connect with them. 3. You are at the start of something wonderful. I promise.
Card 3: Rose Quartz // The Hanged Man. It’s time to gain some perspective. If things are feeling off with your relationships, spouse, or even your self-love, take a step back and look at it from upside down. You know how, in an argument, there’s your reasoning, your opponent’s (or loved one) reasoning, and then, somewhere in the murky middle, there’s the “truth”? You might need to let your ego go just a little, and look at that murky middle, to find the clarity you need. And if it’s self-love you’re after, speak to yourself as if you are your own best friend. You might not be able to see your amazing qualities, but your friends sure do. Start there.
*intuitive tarot inspired by Sarah Greenman, who was in turn inspired by Chris Corsini