ONE BIG EXHALE
During the past year, I have found a lot of solace in yoga. The body and mind connection is awesome, and definitely helps with stress relief and resilience. One of the things that you learn in yoga is the importance of breath. With all the heaviness over the last year (COVID-19, social unrest, altered plans and cancelled of events) I didn’t realize that I was, in essence, holding my breath. That was, until I took one big exhale.
I’m not sure what exactly precipitated the exhale – maybe the hope of a new year or the fact that vaccines are flowing and we may (fingers-crossed) be getting back to normal. All I know is that I now feel a lightness which is allowing me to be more creative, take risks, and drop the baggage of heaviness weighing me down.
If you too are feeling heaviness – may I recommend a breathing exercise? This is great for general stress and anxiety relief, as well as more practically rebalancing yourself after many hours in front of your sewing machine. Close your eyes, place one hand on your belly and one hand over your heart. Take a deep breath (1, 2, 3, 4) and hold it for 4 counts. Then exhale (1, 2, 3, 4) and hold for 4 counts. Do it a couple times in a row. This helps to calm the parasympathetic nervous system and rebalance your brain and take you from fight-or-flight to freedom of thought and reasoning.
And the best part of this mind-body connection is that it helps to get your creative juices flowing. As quilters this is always important, as quilting is our creative expression and fabric our medium. This month there will be lots of opportunities to flex those creative muscles, whether it be through our guild meeting and following workshop, participating in the panel challenge, creating president’s blocks, or finishing a charity quilt. So, breath deep – take one big exhale – and get crafting!