We have become a society of inhalers.

When anything stressful or difficult occurs, we’re often told to take a deep breath – with the emphasis on the inhale.

But what about the exhale? We keep inhaling, filling up our lungs and letting the breath flow into our bodies until we are at full capacity. While, at some point exhaling is inevitable, we are so focused on inhaling that our exhales lack the dedication, the commitment, and the purpose that we are so inclined to on our inhales.

“Inhale the good, Exhale the bad.” – unknown

If we inhale the good and exhale the bad, like we so often hear in yoga classes, we should make more of an effort to equalize our inhales and exhales. Exhaling relieves pressure and tension in areas where we might be holding onto it, allows us to elongate into our bodies, and, like the quote says, gets rid of the bad.

So, next time you go in for that deep inhale, put some purpose into the exhale, too. Finding balance in your breath may surprise you with impact.

*Please note that this post is about general breathing. In the practice of Pranayama, there are different styles of breath work that require longer inhales or exhales. But remember, despite the length of your inhales or exhales, all breath work should be done with purpose.