My Friend: Breath

For the first twenty years of my life, there was one question that was constantly floating around in my head.

How am I ever going to make it through life?

I know, right? That’s a pretty heavy question to have weighing on your shoulders day in and day out. What weighed on me even more was the fact that I really couldn’t answer that question for myself. On paper, I’ve lived a charmed life. I’ve had things pretty easy. I think this made my struggle with depression and anxiety even harder. Everything in my life was good. Why couldn’t I just be happy? My inability to cope with life had me living in constant fear. I worried that someday something really awful would surely happen. I convinced myself that there was no way I was strong enough to handle it. If I couldn’t pull myself out of depression when life was good, how would I ever make it through when times got tough? For those first twenty years of my life I was on a roller coaster ride. Up and down, with no control over which direction I was headed. It was a constant flip flop between joy and sadness, pleasure and pain until the pain became so big and unbearable that I had to reach out for help. I was given antidepressants. I was talking to a social worker. I was visiting my doctor regularly. And then my Mom dragged me to my first yoga class. Little did I know, life would never be the same again. I believe that everyone finds yoga when they are ready for it to come into their life. At twenty years old, I was ready. I finally found the courage (or maybe it was just desperation) to drop the walls and discover a new friend: my breath.

Jenn Dwyer

It had been there all along, on the sidelines, just waiting for me to let it in. Since then, our relationship has grown, strengthened, fallen apart and been put back together again, all depending on where I am in my life and what I’m feeling. Sometimes I run to my yoga mat and other times I run away from it, but I always come back. I’ve realized over the years that breath is the best friend you could ever ask for. It’s my playground when life is good. My sanctuary when life gets hard. Life is beautiful, but let’s be honest, life is also tough. It has bleak moments, some are fleeting, others are long lasting. Our hearts break. We lose people we love. We feel lost and hopeless. And no matter what – breath is there. Ready and waiting to celebrate your victories or work through your frustrations. It’s your shoulder to cry on when sadness strikes and an open ear when you need one. It’s hope when life seems hard. And that’s the beauty of it. It never leaves. It’s always waiting on the sidelines ready to fill you up if you just choose to let it in. Now back to my question:

How am I ever going to make it through life? 

I have an answer now:


When life is good. When life is tough. When it is amazing, crazy, beautiful and wild. Whatever it throws at me, I know that breath is always there, just waiting for me to let it in. My breath will be waiting for me in September at The Baptiste Power Flow Immersion and Yoga Journal Conference in Estes Park, Colorado. I hope you will be too. BPYI immersion
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