• Shana Ritter

Exhaling – the intentionality of letting go

I’ve been paying attention to the out breath. To the force, control, power behind letting go. While I still consider myself a beginner I’ve been doing yoga for years, and for most of that time I considered exhaling the space between the inhale. While inhaling I thought about expansion – deepening my breath, enlarging my capacity, taking in and holding on. But recently I shifted my attention and realized how much power, intent, force and impact, the exhale entails. This observation has altered my perspective, my yoga practice, and my writing. At first I just noticed what happens when I placed effort and attention on something I normally didn’t. But as I continued the practice of exhaling with intentionality I started changing the way I let something go -breath, an idea, a concept, an approach. When revising poems I became more interested in the language and rhythm that move the reader to the essential, and more apt to take away phrases that create images for the sake of image. Working on the novel (still in the very early stages) I am taking more time to delve into research, recognizing the pull of the story becomes stronger as I become steeped in the context. I am letting go of the way I thought the process would work. Recognizing there is more involved; what is taken in isn’t just released – it is transformed by intent.

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