As I walk out of yoga today, I take a moment to consider my breathing. Despite nearly 8 years of a dedicated yoga practice, shallow breathing continues to be my go-to rather than yoga breathing or belly breathing. I believe my shallow breathing habit probably stems from poor posture growing up hunching, which may be a physical manifestation to protect my sensitive heart. Through yoga, I have uncovered a belief that our bodies hold clues; I believe the shallow breathing and protected heart posture are my clues that this is an area I will be working to open in my life.
The other part of my story is that I am currently 7 1/2 months pregnant with a sweet baby boy. This is my first pregnancy and I have certainly applied what I have learned from yoga into this process because quite frankly, being pregnant takes a lot of faith. Just yesterday I had an ultrasound and have learned that my sweet baby is underweight and they are concerned he isn’t getting the nutrients he needs. Beyond the numerous doctors visits I will now need to attend, the biggest thing I can do is have faith….and to breathe.
But sometimes fear is interlaced with magic. As I lay at the doctor’s office yesterday with an ultrasound technician monitoring my baby’s lungs to make sure he is “breathing” (note: baby’s in utero simulate breathing but their first breath actually takes place at birth), panic begins to set in as the minutes tick by. The technician tells me that they allow 30 minutes for this activity in order to pass the test—30 minutes! Every minute that goes by, my breathing becomes shallower and harder to control as my worry rises. At the 25 minute mark I lay back and say aloud, “That’s okay baby. I’m not very good at breathing either.”, and he takes that long-awaited breath and passes the test. It is quite magical really. My connection to him is so strong that I just needed to connect to him and he connected back. The other magical part is what can happen when we surrender to our faith.
My breath connection to my baby reminds me that panic and worry can bring my focus outside myself; while surrender and faith will always bring me back. Breathe in. Breathe out.