The 52: Lesson Five — Something You are Doing Right Now Can Change Your LIfe



  • There is something you are always doing that affects your level of happiness and peace and has a great impact on your health. Take a look at the number of times you do this one thing that is so significant to your well-being:

16 times a minute , 960 times per hour, 23,040 per day, 8,409,600 times per year

Those are some of the numbers given for an average person.  If you have not already surmised, we are talking about breathing.  It is a given that we breathe all our lives, but the question becomes one of how we breathe.

As a yoga teacher, I learned this maxim: If you can control your breath, you can control your life.  That’s a pretty hefty statement.  In fact, there is an entire science devoted to breathing.  It is called pranayama, and we who practice yoga learn to do a myriad of breathing exercises.  What is important here is that, simply by learning some easy ways to alter your breathing, you can be less stressed and happier in your everyday life.  So here we go!


Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky.

Conscious breathing is my anchor.

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist monk who has written countless books, made this statement.  The breath is his anchor.  Think about that.  You can always return to the breath.  It is with you all the time. We can learn to use it as a tool to alter the quality of our lives.  None of this is difficult.  You simply have to be aware of it and use it.  You will feel and notice change.  I promise!  For beginners, here are a few pointers:

  • Pick a time when you can be quiet, even if only for a few minutes.  Pay attention to your breathing.
  • You want to be breathing in and out through your nose, not your mouth.
  • Is the breath steady — in other words, is it even?  Inhalation and exhalation?  If the exhalation is a bit longer, that is okay.
  • Do you pause and hold your breath between breaths?  Try to keep it going, like a constantly moving wheel.  Inhale, then exhale.
  • Is the breath jumpy, jerky, agitated?  Think of each breath as smooth and silky.  Flowing with ease.
  • Keep breathing this way whenever you think of it.

Those are some breathing basics.  You will find that doing this “practice” often will be calming to you. It will take you out of the world for a little while and put you into the present moment.  That is always good.

If you feel ready to add this next idea, see how it feels.

  • While you are breathing like this, repeat our first affirmation — I love myself completely NOW.  Coordinate it with the breath, as if it were swimming on the wave of the breath.
  • Take lesson two and do a little body scan.  I bet you will see that your body relaxed right along with the breathing .
  • Add lesson three, if you are focusing on the breath, you are unlikely to be worried about anything.
  • And you are being quiet, so lesson four is in effect.

How easy is that?  In a few days, I will make a few more suggestions.  Remember, you don’t have to spend much time on this, but you do need to start to change patterns of breathing for a more joyous life.  Let me know how it works for you.  Even seasoned yoga people could use this reminder from time to time.  We all can use a gentle reminder from time to time.

When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts:

About deannemincer

Deanne Mincer has been a long time student of religious and spiritual studies. For many years, she was a practitioner of yoga and in the late 1980's she was drawn to share her enthusiasm by becoming a yoga teacher. Her certification, from the Himalayan Institute, was a comprehensive two year program including the study of anatomy, diet, nutrition, Ayurvedic medical practices, the methods of teaching hatha yoga, the science of breath and the study of raja (the royal path of yoga) philosophy. She has taught yoga, meditation, and spiritual classes for more than twenty years. In the mid 1990's she became a follower of Siddha Yoga where she experienced a spiritual awakening called shaktipat and her teachings took on a new and freshly informed understanding. As Deanne continued her studies, she learned level one in Reiki and also sutdied with Henry Grayson, Ph.D. where she refined her work with muscle testing and the complex of energy healing methods Dr. Grayson has developed for use with his patients. Dr. Grayson's work is illuminated in his books, Mindful Loving and Use Your Body to Heal Your Mind. Deanne teaches group and private classes in yoga as well as stress reduction programs and meditation in many forms (sitting, walking, whirling, meditation in action, and "sleeping" meditation called yoga nidra). She has developed methods of using yoga in treating those with life threatening diseases as in the programs she designed for Gilda's Club and Friends in Deed in New York City. She was a consulting producer on an alternative health program for CNBC's Alive and Wellness, and she has demonstrated yoga on network television. Deanne created the audio DC, Inner Light Yoga with Deanne Mincer and she has spoken widely and demonstrated meditation in many venues. Deanne is an enthusiastic and joyful teacher. She is known for the keen interest she takes in her students' physical and spiritual development. She stresses that each student should work at their own pace in a non-competitive and caring environment. You can read some of the comments her students have shared in the Tesimonials Section of this site. Her teaching is grounded in her own steadfast spiritual awareness - that each of us is a being of eternal light and love and that we can all come to knowing this truth for ourselves. She is eager to help guide you on this joyful path of body, mind, breath and spirit.

3 responses »

    • Thank you Alice. I am glad you are continuing your yoga practice and that you enjoy my words. You are a treasure. I look forward to seeing you in the spring! With love and namaste

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