Girl presenting underwater fashion in pool. She has red hair and luminous dark eyes. Her dress is white and flowing enhanced by the air bubbles.

I studied breathing and meditation for years before attending a yoga class, but really the story of my relationship with breath began much earlier. As a child I was obsessed with breath, I marveled that something so important could happen without me thinking about it.

I will admit that part of it was a morbid fascination in that, once I learned about death and understood that part of death meant the lack of breath, I became hyper vigilant about my own. I learned that when I laid in bed alone and thought about dying I would feel like I couldn’t breathe. I also learned that when I purposely slowed down, taking deep breaths and blowing all the air out, that I could calm down and go to sleep.

It moved onto a more healthy fascination as my mother taught me to breathe when she taught me to sing. I remember lying on the floor with her instructing me to pay attention to how it felt to breathe from my belly, and trying to emulate that feeling once I stood up. Breathing was always an important part of preparation for any performance, whether it was singing, playing the piano, or later the cello.

I was also a swimmer, so being aware of when and I how I breathed was something that I learned to think about. I often think of swimming while performing Forrest style Abs, actually; I think it’s the short holding of breath that triggers those memories.

I’m wandering down this trail of memories because I’m preparing for this week’s classes and our focus is breath: the first pillar of Forrest Yoga. The next four weeks we’ll be making our way through all of them leading up to our retreat on May 19th.

Hope to see you soon!