I Found Air, a New Drug

It was better than any drug. I am talking about what happened to me when I finally "got it." Pranayama (yogic breathing), that is.

I turned 42 this year. With this are the pleasures and pressures of sales, my profession, high tech sales, where competition is fierce. If you survived in my job market and remained gainfully employed over the past two years, you have some blessings with you. I spend 90% of my day on the telephone and computer. Each call I engage or email I read or write is given a moment of thought. In between, are many sighs and deep breaths. My boss is always asking me, are you okay? I say yes, I am just really focused right now.

One day a few years ago, an associate called me to chit chat, so I thought. In an instant, she said hey, why don't you do a presentation on what you know sometime. Hesitating for a few seconds, I said sure. It's at 11:30, see you there, gotta go, bye. I glanced at my watch as the big hand hit 10:00AM. I was actually dressed quite nicely that day, in my favorite blue suit. I was planning on meeting friend for lunch. I called and cancelled my original gig. I stood up and said okay, let's do this, I've got 45 minutes to get there and be impromptu!

On the way I started using a few yogic breathing techniques to prepare my vocal cords for lots of talking. This was no time for a panic attack. I was right in there to have one. My windows were down in my car as I started five very deep and low OM's. I am quite sure at the red lights people around me were thinking…what is up with that chick! As I ended my OM's, I drew a very deep breath, held it for a 16 count, and exhaled through my nose. I did this several times, to calm myself. Prior to leaving my desk, I was feeling a bit tired. I ended my trip with a few rapid pulls/pushes of air through my nose while entering the parking garage. A fresh stroke of lipstick, a few swigs of water, and off I went.

Twenty-two minutes later, I received a vigorous applaud from audience. After 45 minutes of questions and answers, I noticed we had run over our time for the meeting room. I had not spoken to a group of people in several years. I truly felt for a moment as I walked out of that building, that I had found the best drug on earth. It was free, the air that I breathe, you know. I went back to the office, sat on the floor for a few moments, and meditated about the entire day. It was exhausting, but it was indeed a beautiful accomplishment for me. Play with the Pranayama techniques and find the ones that work for you.

Contributed by Lynn Miller

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