Water is your second lifeline, breathing is your first

When you’re practicing yoga in a hundred degree room with forty
percent humidity for ninety minutes straight, the natural inclination is to
medicate your suffering with water. Because it’s cold and refreshing and
hydrating and satisfying. 

But as my teacher loves to remind his students,water
is your second lifeline, breathing is your first. 

Think about it. When a person
experiences a health emergency, the first thing the paramedics provide is
oxygen. Nobody inserts a water tube up your nose. People need air. Breath is
life. It’s the source of all things. 

And nothing against water. It’s a close
second on the scoreboard of human survival. But you can survive for three days
without water. Oxygen is only three minutes. 

And so, in yoga class, when the
dizziness and the leg cramps and the dark thoughts come crashing in, the
smartest response is to breathe, not drink. No matter how much money you spent
on that shiny new vacuum insulated double stainless steel water bottle that
keeps contents icy cold for up to eighteen hours, the smartest response is to

Oxygen first, water second. 

It’s a perfect metaphor for life outside
the yoga studio, too. Because when our suffering becomes intolerable, we’re
given that same choice. We can reach for a crutch to soothe our pain, or we can
regulate and refresh and rebuild ourselves with lifelines that are healthier, and don’t make us have to pee every twenty minutes. 


What’s your preferred method of medicating?

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* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

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