Yoga, Breathing, and An Alternative to Offering Solutions

My wonderful wife says that sometimes I’m a jerk.

She’s right.

Of all the jerk things I do, I think the worst might be offering unsolicited advice. When people complain about their life, I just feel compelled to offer them advice, even though I complain all the time. Examples?

“I’m so tired today.”

“Have you tried sleeping at night?”

What a jerk thing to say.

I can’t help it.

“I’m really thirsty.”

“You should drink more water.”

How to overcome this jerk burden?

When in search of wisdom, go to yoga.

At the end of a recent class, my (Hatha 1) yoga instructor approached me and complimented me on my form and how I’ve tied it to my breathing.

I guess everyone else in the class breathes according to her instructions (“exhale, twist, inhale, untwist”). Once I know what the motion is, I move in time with my breathing. To be honest, it’s very relaxing to do this, which is why I usually ignore the timing of her instructions. In comparison to the rest of the class, I guess I have fairly healthy lungs, so I’m usually five to ten seconds behind. I’m not doing my own thing, but I do what I’m doing in my own time, and she appreciates that since she always tells us that yoga is about tying motion to breath.

This was the first time that anyone ever complimented me on breathing, and to be honest, I would not have included “breathing” on a list of things that I would like to receive recognition for.

But it was probably the best part of my week.

So the next time someone complains to you, give them a compliment.

“I’m thirsty.”

“Maybe, but you have really good skin.”


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