Permission to exhale in the most non-elegant or “abnormal” fashion when breathing into my body has proven to be one of the best gifts I’ve been given.

You listen to guided meditations and watch your yoga instructor or favorite guide and they look so exquisite with slow controlled exhales, that’s all you are taught to do. That’s what you try to mimic in your own practice, never knowing that thereĀ might actually be another way, a more helpful way to release.

I think there is a definite time and place for slow controlled exhales, I still use that technique all the time, several times a day in order to reset my thinking, lessen my pain, or calm my nerves or feelings or emotions.

But when it comes to feeling into my body, opening up my chakras, getting energy to flow, or connecting with my root the slow beautiful breathing doesn’t get me there. A few weeks ago when I was in Connecticut, Jessi Mendez got me out of my comfort zone in so many ways and one of them was by simply showing me what power I could tap into within myself by exhaling in a loud, possibly unflattering way. In reality, it’s not a bad thing, it’s just not something we feel comfortable doing. Sighing loudly. Rolling our lips like an annoyed 4 year old. Grunting. Making a sound that sort of resembles growling or pouting. It’s different every time, I just let whatever sound needs to come out, come out. Either way, it FEELS better. I am able to connect within myself in a different way than I could before. When I need to listen to my body, it tell me what it needs, grumbling at the end of my full, long exhale seems to do the trick.

So, while it may feel weird at first, I’d welcome you to try it. At the end of your exhale, let whatever sound comes out that needs to. Don’t push it. Don’t fabricate it. Just release it. Then do it again. And again.

While using this I’ve been able to control my breath in a different way, breathe into new, deeper spaces, and overall deepen my practice.

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