Hail the Exhale to Celebrate the Holidays
My favorite part of the holidays is the many splendid, unique ways that we “Hail the Exhale.”
I coined the term “Hail the Exhale” to highlight activities that make us exhale in a special manner or for a longer duration. During Christmastime, we breathe out in many superb ways that we never practice during the rest of the year.
Take for example how we exhale in a hearty style to greet each other with a jubilant “Ho! Ho! Ho!” We breathe out more fully by singing Christmas carols. Some of us exhale more completely when we recite Advent prayers or Hanukkah blessings. Others use their lungs to read out loud stories and poems about Christmas such as the classic poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Many of us exhale with love as we talk to our relatives that we see only at this time of the year.
All these Christmastime activities dramatize how we express and emote through the “Almighty Exhale.” Just think about it. We breathe out to speak and modulate the tone, pitch, and volume of our voices. That’s how we communicate our intentions and feelings. We exhale in order to cry, laugh, shriek, yell, and even express a sexual orgasm. Moreover, we use our ability to blow out air for many forms of self-expression: singing, public speaking, talking out our feelings, cheering, playing a wind instrument like a flute or saxophone, and so on.
Here’s one more thing to think about: Hyperventilate means inhaling too much. Hyperventilation is the major symptom of all respiratory disease. However, there is no word equivalent word for exhaling too much. That’s because “Hailing the Exhale” is good for us. Research on biofeedback indicates we relax and rejuvenate more easily when we exhale as twice as long as we inhale. For example, when we sing, talk to our loved ones, or play a wind instrument we exhale longer than we inhale.
Many holiday traditions cue us to exhale more fully and deeply. This year, I hope you give yourself the gift of “Hailing the Exhale” all year round.
Writing my book Rescued by my Breath, allowed me to work and breathe through my pain. My book is now an Amazon Best Seller and is available in time for the holidays. I hope it inspires you or your loved ones to move through you on your journies.