September 26, 2014 By integrate

The Importance of Breathing

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In an effort to find some balance in my life, and to tone up before my big day (I am getting married in less than one month!), I dove into the unknown and joined a friend for an evening yoga class. I was terrified, as this wasn’t just any yoga class; it was HOT yoga. Normally, I’d convince myself out of trying a new workout, especially something like this that was so foreign to me. Maybe it was my friend’s encouragement or maybe it was my larger will to make some kind of tangible change in my life…whatever it was, I drank water until I couldn’t keep an ounce down anymore and showed up to my first Big Yoga class.

A yoga practice here and there turned into a weekly gig at the studio, and next thing I knew I was signing up for a 40 Day Challenge. I never considered myself a yogi, but am so grateful that I took the plunge and not only tried something new, but have committed to doing six days of yoga a week for 40 days. Yoga has been a breath of fresh air…pun intended. My #40DaysThisIsIt challenge has already taught me so much in both work and play.


I took, and still take, breathing for granted. Public relations is a tough industry. Throw a solid crisis communications plan or two in the mix and our jobs are made that much more difficult. Yoga has allowed me to not only breathe when I make it home from a long day on the job, but also at times when I bring the job home with me. Breathing has also become a much more normal part of my daily routine at the office. In between emails or brainstorming sessions, I’ve been mindful of the need to take a minute from the keyboard and inhale and exhale before getting right back to it. It’s incredible just how fulfilling a few impactful breaths can be.

Looking out for #1 is okay:

Take it from someone who puts everything and everyone before herself. Signing up for 6 days of yoga of week means saying a lot of “nos,” which, quite frankly, has been incredibly freeing, and has, overall, allowed me to live bigger in all aspects of my life. In a job in the public relations or social media industry, it’s hard to tell the client or team no and step away from the computer and take care of yourself. As my fiancé knows all too well, work continues for my colleagues and me through the evening, as we’re always “on,” replying to client, media and partner emails all day every day. Using my evenings or early mornings to head to the yoga studio and turn off for an hour or so has been incredibly refreshing and has taught me that taking care of yourself should come first…at least sometimes.

It’s okay to make mistakes:

In my yoga practice, I’m not always perfect. At times, I just can’t get my body to fall in line with my mind, and sometimes I stumble…and, I’ve learned, that it’s okay. I’ve really tried to apply this same level of acceptance for making little mistakes here and there and not always being perfect sink into other areas of my life, like my wedding planning and my career. Along the same lines of looking out for myself, I’ve also learned to let go and realize that my being absent for an hour each night, even if I’m not perfect in my yoga poses, doesn’t mean the world stops.

People want to see you succeed:

While most of the people I run into at the studio are complete strangers, the energy in this space is incredible. I constantly feel supported in that hot room and feel the same support from those around me outside of the studio, as well.  Whether it’s my colleague, Julianne, who is also taking part in the 40 Day Challenge and who will compare notes with me, my fiancé and family who are interested in hearing more about my experience or my friends who have been amazing about letting my put myself and my yoga practice first, it’s clear that everyone just wants to see me succeed.

I never thought I’d be so jazzed about making yoga a regular part of my life, but here I am, professing to the Internet why I love yoga and how it’s transformed my personal and professional life. With that, if you’re ever interested in joining me in practice, let me know! In the meantime, follow my pursuits of completing this 40 Days on my instagram, @theotherselber.

-Written by Jenny Selber