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A Moment To Pause

This time of year always seems faster and fuller than previous months. Christmas, holidays and the end of the year means for many of us an increased workload, a crazy social calendar and lots to plan. We often get to Christmas feeling stressed and tired, take too long to truly settle into our down time and return to work feeling like holidays are never long enough.

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It’s easy to blame the madness of the season, but really it’s just modern life on hyper drive. Our lives are so jam packed on an average day, it’s no wonder that any additional demands, even the desirable ones, can tip us over into stress mode. Why do we find it so hard to create space in our lives?

We find a gap in our diary and fill it with things we ‘should’ be doing, or wonder blankly what we might have forgotten. When we do sneak a precious unscheduled moment, we feel guilty. Or bored. Or don’t quite know what to do with ourselves. We can’t remember another way than busybusybusy. And while deep down we know its not sustainable, it has become like a badge of honour we wear as we check off the list of how much we have done this week and how we couldn’t possibly fit another  (oh ok, just one more) thing in.

Stillness is a foreign concept in our busy modern lives, and one that often at the mere suggestion, causes a stress response. Even if we could find the time, we don’t know how to ‘do it’ even if we ‘tried’, and for many it’s unsettling; its been so long since we’ve truly spent time with ourselves, who knows what we’ll find when we take the time to listen. It’s in this state however, that the gold lies. How we really feel and what we really need, beyond the task lists, the expectations, the emotions and adrenal fatigue. A state of clarity where questions and answers become obvious; where we stop being reactive to what is happening around us, and truly be the flow of life. In that moment, creativity is potent, potential and possibility abounds. 

Who wouldn’t want a taste of that? However, like any new skill we learn or any new habit we form, it does take focused intention and commitment. The one thing it doesn’t have to take is time. All you need is simply a breath. To reconnect. A breath. Before a response. A breath. To give gratitude in the moment.

Our breath mirrors the natural rhythms of life. Inhale, exhale, pause. Expand, contract, stillness. Simply by becoming more aware of the phases of our breath we become more present, more mindful. More able to read what is going on and to ascertain what is appropriate in the moment. Plus, uninhibited breathing has a myriad of health benefits from a better functioning digestive system and brighter skin to tension free muscles, mobile joints and a quality night’s sleep.

An automated function in the body, breathing is something that we are generally unconscious of. But the quality of our breath can be impacted by many factors including emotions, stress, polluted environments or holding our belly in. It becomes short, shallow, fast and absent of pause. With each breath our nervous system takes a weather report, deciding the best course of next action, so lose the pause and our body loses that regular sense of stillness, that moment to take stock.

Awareness of the breath is the foundation of yoga and while it is the seed of asana (physical) practice, stand-alone it can be an infinitely profound practice. Any yoga class will give you the tools and awareness to support a healthful breathing practice, be that moving mindfully with the breath, a restorative practice, mediation or pranayama - the yogic art of breathing. Just remember that even though breathing is something you have done every day of your life, a healthy breath may not be something your body is familiar with. Being a beginner at anything is always a challenge while you learn new habits and behaviors so give yourself some grace. Ask lots of questions, keep up your practice, and keep an eye out for the magic that happens in the pause.

Ginnaya x


Trying to focus on my breath so much more at the moment after recently starting yoga since moving to Dubai. Thank you for the inspiring post

We're lucky to have Ginnaya as part of the team sharing all her wisdom with us! x

Blessing to you too Renee Naturally team! Happy Holidays to all xxxxxx

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