'Exhale and flow' is a phrase for the highs, lows, and transitions in between on this beautiful wave we’re riding called life.

These three simple words started as instructional cues when I began teaching vinyasa yoga classes. The wave that rolls through sequencing, exhale to lower to the mat, inhale to lift the chest, exhale to downward facing dog. My instructions just kept coming out that way, because practitioners just knew what to do… often better than I could explain with lots of fancy anatomy references or Sanskrit language.

The powerful simplicity did not end there - those three words kept showing up as guidance for the practice of yoga beyond chaturanga; beyond physical practice; and beyond the mat.

The exhalation is a valuable tool to let go of resistance, release tension, and discharge stagnant energies. Breath is the source of infinite connection that we all share. It connects us to universal existence; the beings that came before us and the beings that come after us. Breath is the transformative rhythm of the ocean and the vastness of the sky.

This flow is the foundation of our life experience, an involuntary miracle that so often takes the backseat to modern life and mind chatter. Through human tendencies to respond, react, and retreat during challenging times, our breath brings us back to the flow - to ease. The flow of life is happening, and it does not stop. It is up to me to decide whether I am going to fight the flow and remain stagnant, or be one with motion of the universe in all of the uncomfortable shifts on the divine ride.

Much like the ocean, our breath is a far stronger force than the anxieties, ego tricks, and fears we face. This human existence - life - is beautifully and intensely unpredictable. We have the power to navigate the unknown with gratitude through unchanging awareness of breath. Resistance is a natural part of life, but breath is life. Consciousness ebbs and flows; still and all, the power of breath is a resource to return to truth, vitality, and freedom.

EXHALE AND FLOW

I trust the universe, because I am breathing.