What is Resilience?
Resilience is the ability to return to your center, to neutral, no matter what is happening around you, no matter what has been triggered by life happening.
Do you ever feel like that dried up old rubber band that can’t return to its resting position, but when asked to extend one more time, breaks? Or the tensed up hand that has a hard time fully releasing after a few hours of driving, gripping the wheel, constantly adjusting to the vicissitudes of traffic?
When I disengage to take time off from pushing forward and getting things done, it can be also be hard to re-engage. Hard to get off the couch to take a walk or hard to get out of this office chair and down to the floor to do some yoga stretches.
Gentle Yoga and Resilience
There is a simple breathing practice that I lead in Dynamic Gentle Yoga classes and teacher trainings called the Elevator Breath with Pauses. This practice not only feels good and helps me to get back to some sort of neutral, newer science called polyvagal theory reveals that deep breaths help the nervous system better recognize the tensions that are occurring throughout the body.
Benefits of Yogic Breathing
When the nervous system is informed it can respond. It can lower the heart rate, release digestive juices, reduce the release of the stress hormone cortisol, and even help access emotions of empathy and compassion. The Elevator Breath with Pauses also helps restore resilience in the lung tissue allowing for those deeper breaths.
The Yoga of Breath – Gentle Yoga Elevator Breath
In yoga class I like to say, “we’re opening the channels of energy, stimulating the flow and steadying the mind.” The Elevator Breath with Pauses is a gentle way to lengthen and deepen the breath to achieve these aims of practice. If we take an average of 18 – 20 breaths a minute, how many long deep breaths can you take in three minutes? If you practice this regularly how much longer and deeper might all the breaths you take in a day become? On average, we take more than 20,000 breaths a day! That’s a lot of opportunities to increase resilience!
Request a free PDF download about how you can practice the Elevator Breath and begin enjoying increased resilience.