Since starting my own business, I have been ignoring a terrible wound up feeling in my stomach. The kind you get when you receive a terrible piece of news, or when you’re free-falling on a roller coaster ride. I’m sure all of you reading have felt this at some point in your life, and if you’re like me, you’ve pushed it to the very bottom of your list to take care of. This sinking feeling I’m talking about is anxiety bubbling up trouble in your mind and manifesting in your body. It feeds from our fears, and it grows bigger with neglect, but most of all, it stops us from realising our truest aspirations in life. So I would like to share with you how yoga saves me from self destruction.

Yoga is a safe space to dive deep into yourself. It’s my vehicle to exploring the deepest, darkest demons within me, and shining light on them – no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel. The fact is, we all face our own battles everyday.

In yoga, you learn to breathe. We do it all day, but somehow lose hold of how to do it when we’re overwhelmed. Think about it… are you breathing shallow sips of air right now? Take the deepest breath of air you’ve taken all day and send it into the depths of your stomach. Feel it slow your thoughts and calm the nerves behind your stomach. That’s right, you just did that just in one breath. All of us have the power to pull the reins in on our fear responses by the simple act of breathing, and yoga shows us how to harness it.

Today I have yoga to catch me when I fall into fear. In my daily morning home practice, I learn new things about myself all the time. Not only do I create space within my body when I stretch and strengthen, I also make space in my mind thanks to new insights into how I think, react, and act. By practicing yoga I am dedicating time to myself and building my self-awareness. So tomorrow morning, I challenge you not to reach for your phone first thing, but to roll out of bed and try a simple yogic sun salutation (as many times as you need) before you start the day. A little goes a long way.

For this post, I asked my dear friend and yogi Yuki Matsui to guide you through a sun salutation: the start-line to the most powerful tool to self recognition, self acceptance, and wellbeing. Just remember to breathe deep, full breaths of air like you were born to do it.

– Lauren

I shot Yuki at the Deus Residence in Harajuku, Tokyo where she teaches weekly classes.

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