Today I was introduced to the term “resonant breathing” because I joined a yoga challenge. The yoga challenge sent an email reminding us that it is the first day of the challenge and included an advertisement for a breathing app and a blurb about resonant breathing. It was cool to learn about resonant breathing, and give it a name. I have always just referred to it as “deep breathing,” but I like that it has a name and a clear definition.
Resonant breathing is the slowing of breath to 3-7 breaths per minute and effectively changing and regulating the autonomic nervous system, along with other systems of the body. People who do this regularly are opening themselves up to a host of potential benefits, from the brain to the heart to the lungs. As I read the article this morning, I took a few resonant breaths and felt really good afterwards. It was a brilliant start to the day and even helped me to move my tired tush out of bed.
Today, I completed by first day of a 21-day yoga challenge with Wanderlust. I found an issue cropping up that I noticed during a recent meditation. My jaw was just aching…so much so that I found much of the flow hard to follow. How could I focus on breathing while also tending to the crazy stiff and sore feeling in my jaw?!
Now, I am no stranger to jaw pain. I had TMJ as a child that was so bad I wouldn’t be able to open my mouth to chew or speak. I would slide crackers in at lunch in 8th grade and let them dissolve. It was bizarre. Then, I made the big girl move at 18 years young to bite the bullet and get jaw surgery… a surgery where they would break my jaw, re-align it, and then tack it back on with some hardware. The pain during that procedure, the procedure that included a cute little wiring up of my BRACES. That is right. I elected to get braces as an 18 year old to put my jaw issues behind me.
Naturally, when my jaw hurts, I get slightly panicked and worry that I am going to have to replay my old experiences or something somehow worse. The memories of slurping pediasure through a straw while crying are enough to last a lifetime. So, I took to the web and found what was clearly the culprit and thank god! I have been lifting weight regularly for the past 2 weeks and working out. This includes a lot of strain on my neck, something I internally complain about frequently throughout my workout. Bless. My neck is just tight. This is a big deal. Don’t get me wrong, but PHEW! I can stretch and love my neck back to health and (hopefully) eliminate my jaw pain. STAY TUNED for updates on this super sexy and super interesting part of my life. Perhaps this yoga challenge will help get me started on a more holistic stretching/yogic routine. Namaste.