Where does your breath go?

It is yoga's ability to bring awareness to different parts of the body and use that awareness to influence autonomic functions — such as heart rate, brain waves, and blood pressure — that makes yoga such powerful medicine. You can use it to reduce your levels of stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, which could have beneficial effects on conditions ranging from diabetes to insomnia to osteoporosis. You could lower your blood pressure and with it the risk of heart disease and stroke. You can learn to slow the mind down, lessening anxiety and depression. You can relax the muscles in the back and neck, potentially improving such conditions as headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, and arthritis.

— Timothy Miller in Yoga as Medicine

Today: take a few minutes to quiet your body, whether in a restorative pose, whether sitting quietly in meditation, and bring your focus to your breath.  Where does your breath go?  Use it to build awareness.  Use it to recognize where there is held tension and let more of it go with each exhale.  Breathe in a great new breath, an notice the new freedoms of ribcage expanding.  Notice how the body quiets and how the mind quiets when you make time to take a few deep breaths.  Resolve to try this daily and use the time spent to restore and to release what you do not need to hold onto.  Enjoy a peaceful day!

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