Transitions: How to be Mindful and Avoid Falling on your Face

Transitions: How to be mindful and avoid falling on your face

Are you ready for the seasonal transition into fall?

downward dog
I don’t know this dog but his form looks good. I bet his transition was pretty fluid!

Today in yoga class the beautiful instructor said something that stuck with me: “be mindful in your transitions”.  Yoga is such a great metaphor for life.  In yoga and during life, transitions can be bumpy and not at all graceful and fluid.  A downward-dog back to a plank, starting a new job, a warrior 2 to a warrior 3, having a baby, handling the death of a loved one – all of these transitions require some level of mindfulness.  At its simplest meaning mindfulness is just being present and breathing.

Just like during the transition from plank to side plank or the transition of being in a relationship to suddenly being single again it’s beneficial to take note:  Am I breathing? Am I clenching my jaw bracing myself in case I fall on my face?

A lot of you watched your kids start school this week or are about to. Are you breathing?

We’re in transition time.  Fall is right around the corner, and in Colorado we felt it in the air this week.  Some of us hold our breath through transitions, hoping to get to the other side unscathed.  But life is about the journey, not the destination so we need to be present during these times.

It’s true, we do not always act as gracefully as we’d like during change.  But with a little help it can get better.

Be present:   Being present can be as simple as noticing and focusing on what is happening right now.  Not yesterday (regret), not tomorrow (worry), but right now. Odds are you’re ok right now.  A good read about this topic is Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle.

Breathe:  When busy and stressed we breathe from our chest.  Instead bring it down to your belly.

My super simple – from your belly – breathing tips:

  • Put your hands on your belly
  • Inhale deeply while pushing your belly out, count to 5 while inhaling
  • Pause for 1-2 seconds
  • Exhale for 5 counts and feel your belly fall
  • Repeat 4 times for a total of 5 deep breaths.

Use this simple technique anytime you feel ungrounded or feel yourself worrying about something you can’t control or that hasn’t even happened yet. This technique will help you get back into the moment, back to present.  This is perfect to do before and after eating.

So what does this have to do with nutrition and digestion?  Everything.  See my previous post:  Is Stress Hindering Your Digestion. Helping digestion starts with calming stress, and calming stress starts with breathing.

Wishing you happy and graceful transitions,


True confessions: I haven’t been to a yoga class in over a year. I’ve disliked most studios I’ve tried, or lovely studio’s classes just didn’t fit my schedule.  Today I finally went to  Yoga Loft  in S. Boulder because it’s super close to my house and my dear friend Cristin told me to 3 years ago (sorry Cristin, I’m now just listening).  The instructor played the harmonium and chanted at the beginning and end of the class.  It was so beautiful I cried a little. Now that’s a good yoga class! Check them out.


Disclaimer: Nutrition therapy is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, prescription, or cure for any disease, or as a substitute for medical care. Jen Marshall and Stacy St Germain are not licensed medical providers. Nutrition plans are not intended as a substitution for traditional medical care, nor should be interpreted as medical advice, but instead is an adjunctive and supportive therapy.