Often practiced silently, sometimes aloud; this is my mantra. 'Exhale and flow' is for the highs, lows, and transitions in between. It rings true and serves me in surrender to the beauty of being a part of the whole flow. This is how it came to be the beat of my being here; a foundation for my practice in every waking moment of life.

Exhale and Flow was initially an instructional cue when I began teaching vinyasa yoga classes. The wave of breath-based movement through sequencing of a sun salute: exhale to chaturanga, inhale to upward facing, exhale to downward facing dog. Once the technicality of this traditional vinyasa movement was understood - my cues simplified to “exhale and flow.”

I found that the vibration of ‘exhale and flow’ felt like an authentic delivery of what I hoped to hold space for — embodiment of flow beyond asana, more than physical movement. The meaning of exhale and flow has grown with my practice and teaching. It shows up physically and consciously as the guiding foundation of my personal practice. Over time, I saw that the connection expanded beyond chaturanga into all postures; beyond physical practice into all 8 limbs of yoga; and beyond the mat into my work, relationships, and joy.

exhale and flow

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 and an 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.


Mantra is a Sanskrit word originating in India; ‘man’ means mind and ‘tra’ means transport. While mantra originated as Vedic hymns, the spread of yoga practice has brought about change in the many ways that this resource can be used to bring simplicity and sacredness into the lives of many. You may already have a mantra of your own without even identifying it as “mantra.”