Sigh … audibly. Deeply. Frequently. (So says my fitness instructor)
Dreamer’s latest angiogram date looms. After 5 bypasses, why are we here again? Dismay feels substantive enough to mold—like river sludge between cupped palms.
Sigh. Empty the hands, lift them in trusting surrender.
An audible sigh re-inflates the vital, occasionally squashed alveoli within our lungs, keeping us alive.
So sigh some more.
A sigh alleviates stress. Research shows that 12 hourly sighs help us regroup, emotionally. Read more here.
- Yes, bad news strikes, and fear makes us bristle, become thistle-y with those we love
- Yes, sometimes even the air weighs on us, seemingly saturated with unshed tears
- Yes, how easily we slide toward the sump of dread
Stalled out again,
going nowhere fast,
I remember “nowhere”
plus the addition
of one slender space
becomes “now here.”
Presence. One slender pause—a breath, a hum, a prayer—invites a sacred recalibration. The built-in reset for body and soul.
Inhale. Sigh aloud. Repeat.
“there is a changing of everything —
when breath becomes prayer.”*
Richard Rohr teaches a simple breath prayer. Using the name YAHWEH for God: inhale, audibly voicing the YAH; exhale, audibly voicing the WEH.
I also like Dr. Andrew’s Weil’s calming breath exercise:
- Exhale as much air as possible with a big whoosh
- Place tongue behind upper teeth, inhale for an easy count of 4
- Hold breath for a count of 7
- Exhale audibly for a count of 8
Do this four times. As it becomes easier, increase to eight repetitions, twice a day.
I vary the 4-7-8 exercise by counting on my fingers, simultaneously humming or praying.
*Prayer, Ann Voskamp