I do yoga quite often, and the instructors are continually reminding us to breathe. Especially when we move into a challenging posture – just breathe.

This is the same in life – sometimes when we move into something challenging we need to remember to breathe. And not just the normal breath we take (but if you are holding your breath, a normal one will do just fine!) I’m talking about a purposeful breath. A breath that lets you take a moment to check in and check out where to go next.

I’ve heard of this as a yogic breath, a 4 square breath, tactical breathing… here’s how it works… and if you can’t remember it – just take a deep, purposeful breath.

  1. Breathe in to a count of four… 1…..2…..3…..4….
  2. Hold the breath for a count of four… 1…..2…..3…..4….
  3. Breathe out to a count of four… 1…..2…..3…..4….
  4. Hold the breath for a count of four… 1…..2…..3…..4….
  5. Breathe in to a count of four… 1…..2…..3…..4….
  6. And continue for 3-4 or more cycles of breath.

This breath does a few things just in a breath – it focuses you on something else and deviates your thoughts, at the same time the breath is a grounding force that can steady you, and it allows you to take a moment to be proactive about what comes next instead of reactive.

That is a lot of power in a breath.

In hard times, challenging time, emotional times – breathe through it.

That breath brings you right back to centre. It brings you back to alignment. It settles you.

  • Do you have the patience to stay still while the mud settles and the water becomes clear?
    Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?

It is often in the moment where a breath would be most helpful that we react with force, or anger, or emotion or ego or fear.  Sometimes we fight, other times we flee – and we stop growing.

Sometimes it just take a moment to settle in, to come back to centre, to find alignment. Sometimes it just takes a breath.