My Journey to Breathing Freely

I don’t know if it was the wrinkles in my face. Or maybe it was the smell on my clothes. Or maybe, just maybe, it was that I am 34 years old now, only 4 years younger than my dad when he died. He smoked 4 packs of cigarettes a day. No I didn’t smoke that many. But smoking any cigarettes is hurtful to your body.

I am in the midst of yoga teacher training right now and we are studying the yoga sutras. There is one that stuck with me like bubble gum that I couldn’t get out of my hair. {AHIMSA; NON-VIOLENCE} How can you practice non-violence towards yourself when you smoke? Every time you have a cigarette you are quietly assaulting your body.

There is much that has changed on this journey of mine, but for the last 20 years cigarettes have made some type of debut in my life.

I have never loved them.

I have never loved smelling like a dirty cigarette, or loved the negative connotations involved with the type of people who smoke. Even as I embarked on my magical journey to Mexico for 8 days of sun and yoga I found my self-smoking. I found myself totally let down. I realized this is not the way to go about wanting to give something in your life up.

I remembered a line Dr. Oz had used in reference to quitting smoking it goes like this. “Don’t say I am quitting smoking, say I am choosing to breathe freely!” The mind is a funny thing and it can do wonders to inspire you or drag you down.

In February, I returned from Mexico a changed woman. I don’t exact know what happened but apparently I left the old me behind. I came home and within 2 weeks signed up for yoga teacher training. I knew when I put my deposit down that the cigarettes would have to go. I am now 3 days away from living the last 3 months of breathing free and clear and here is how I did it. I hope to inspire others to do the same.

1. The very first thing I did was set a quite date. Mine was March the 1st. yours can be whenever (the sooner the better). Hint: don’t pick tomorrow or today.

2. Be honest with your friends and loved ones even if you are a closet smoker like I was. Tell them that you will need support during this tough time and a good friend and a good champion is an invaluable tool.

3. Eliminate all signs of smoking around your house. No decorative or practical ashtrays, and don’t have a party for a while if you have friends who smoke

4. TAKE ONE MOMENT AT A TIME. THEN YOU TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME.

5. Do not replace one addiction for another. You will find that there is a ton of extra time in your life when you quit smoking. Don’t eat to curb the feeling, don’t use nicotine replacement therapy, do this all on its on. YOU CAN.

6. Don’t beat your self up you slip and have a cig, just dust yourself off and start again tomorrow.

7. Remember that the body starts to heal itself within 20 minutes of having your last cigarette. Think of how beautiful your insides and outsides will feel.

8. DO YOGA. Once you take a yoga class a NON-SMOKER you will be amazed at how wonderful it feels to take in TRUE deep breath, and just how amazing it feels.

The last and most important piece of advice I can give when giving up nicotine is, ask for help. Find a friend, who has already quit. Email me! I am here. Find a mentor to get your through those rough moments. It is an addiction and you can break it. I am living proof.

Namaste=

Rachel Pastiloff

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