A week or so ago a client told me: “Even just hearing you exhale when you walk into the class makes me feel more relaxed.”
I consciously try to exhale audibly throughout my classes, especially when I am hoping my clients are focused on really sinking and relaxing. It’s always my hope that they feel it as an aid and not a distraction, that the sound is a good one. It’s the sound of someone settling in, letting go, releasing.
An audible exhale…try it. First, release all the air in your lungs; then, take in a nice and deep inhale. Then audibly exhale that breathe out the mouth.
How does it sound? How does it feel?
It’s too bad that often when someone audibly exhales, when they “sigh,” out in the world, people often think something is wrong. “That was a big sigh.” OR “Is everything ok?” OR “Having a long day?”
I think it means several things:
1. Not enough people are sighing.
2. We tend to only release when things are difficult, tense, not going well, and almost as a last resort rather than a preventive measure.
If more people practiced releasing on a regular basis, they would come to associate an audible exhale as a good thing. It’s someone letting it go, settling in, relaxing the shoulders. It’s someone keeping themselves in tune, coming back to center.
We need to reclaim the sigh. Congratulate/encourage those around you who sigh — “Yes!” “Let that tension and tightness go!” We feel better after a sigh.
We don’t need to wait until things are really overwhelming or stressful or when we don’t know what else to do but sigh. Use the sigh more frequently to remind yourself to not carry stress in your shoulders, not to carry stress anywhere. Use the sigh to remind yourself to breathe slowly and deeply throughout the day.
The sigh is a sound of success. It’s the sign of someone coming back home. Home sweet home!
Interested in joining me for a seven-day meditation course — 20 minute guided meditations each day that are fully downloadable, no advertisements, only zen. Thematic journal prompts with each meditation theme.