If I Just Breathe. Guest post by HYL student Liz Swenton

I find it quite fitting that one of my favorite songs during college years was Breathe by Michelle Branch. A one-hit wonder, this song reminds us that no matter what the obstacle, breath will help you through.

Now, ten years later, the purpose of this song still holds true. I find myself blasting this song in my apartment during times of stress, reminding myself to breathe.  I also found myself singing this song in my head this past weekend as I overcame a majority of my fears competing in the Tough Mudder.

Their definition of being ‘the most difficult obstacle course on the planet’ certainly holds true in my opinion. Overcoming my fears of fire and heights, I wouldn’t have been able to complete the course without breath.

Around mile five, the sun was blazing down and we had to “swim” in mud underneath a barbed wire fence. My team-mate said, “I can’t do this,” to which I said, “Yes you can. Just breathe.” Around mile eight after jumping mud moguls, I said to myself, “I can’t do this,” to which my boyfriend cheering me along on the sidelines said, “Yes you can,” and I took a deep breath and finished the course.

Twelve miles and a lot of deep breaths later, I finished the Tough Mudder. Sure, all of my cardio and strength training paid off but the best training has been on my yoga mat.

The Tough Mudder is definitely a metaphor for life – constant obstacles and uncertainty. As I trudged along the course, I didn’t know what obstacle was just around the bend, which often stands true throughout everyday life. I won’t lie – it wasn’t comforting to see a pit of flames (and fire trucks), knowing I had to run through – but here I am to talk about it. Race organizers are lucky that my breath didn’t put out those flames.

Practicing at Health Yoga Life three times a week has prepared me for life’s toughest obstacles. Through breath, anything is possible – even the poses I hate the most. (Note to instructors, I hate twisted triangle, eagle and crow! : )

Take the training from anywhere in the world! Don’t wait.

Join us this Fall for a weekend retreat in N.H.!