Finding Balance During the Holidays: The Power of the Yes Breath

By Rabia Wilcox, Conscious Living Coach

During the holidays you may feel stressed and overwhelmed as if everything is speeding up with not enough time to get things done or to fit it all in. The easy and powerful process of the Yes Breath may be your ticket to a more calming and relaxed festive season.

It is interesting to note that our emotional history is connected to our breath.  When we hold our breath it moves into fear. When we breathe with the Yes Breath process (below) our feelings of fear, anger and sadness very often shift into flow. Our consciousness expands with each breath, and our bodies are recharged by it.

Breath is a body guide post. When we are scared or under stress in some way it causes us to breathe faster or shallower or hold our breath and we can feel fatigue, out of sorts, off.  Anxiety often sets in.  Sophocles a Greek philosopher from the 400 BC said, “To him who is in fear everything rustles.”  There is great truth to that.  So, it is imperative that we take care of our breath in a gentle way especially during these chilly and potentially stressful times.

The in-breath is to do with experiencing life; something we need to experience more deeply.  The out-breath is often linked with expressing; some truth we need to say or a creative project we are not playing with or fully discovering yet.

It is interesting to note that when we breathe with our feelings, those unpleasant emotions often shift into a sense of flow and ease very quickly. When you feel overwhelmed during the holiday season (and beyond) take three to four easy, deep, relaxed breaths.  Be friendly with this.  It is not a competition.  You can do this standing in long lineups, during festive parties, or to help you relax to go to sleep after a full day of activities – anytime. Keep it easy and simple. Science has shown that the stress chemistry starts to change.  We begin to balance our oxygen and carbon dioxide levels as well as bring our acid and alkaline levels into balance. This can be cultivated every day with no negative side effects.

The Yes Breath

The purpose of the Yes Breath is to awaken and nourish us so we feel our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual vitality returning, to renew and refresh our creativity through gentle movement and breath. It harmonizes our body’s physical yes response, nodding, with our emotions and thoughts.


  1. Sit comfortably upright and come forward to the edge of the chair so there is space behind you.  Begin to rock back and forth on your sit-bones to find a centred space.  It is helpful to have your legs comfortably apart.
  2. Gently arch and flatten the small of the back, rolling forward and back on the sit-bones. Imagine that your pelvis holds a shallow bowl of water, and as you roll forward the water gently sloshes over the front of the bowl.  As you roll backward, the water gently spills over the back rim.
  3. Find an easy, slow rhythm for arching and flattening your back allowing your head to look up slightly as you roll forward (arching your back), just above the horizon.  And when you roll backward flattening your back let your head look slightly down.  Stay in your comfort zone.
  4. Now, add your breathing to the slow, rhythmic moving.  Breathing in and out.  Notice your arching of your back invites the in-breath and the rounding of your back invites your out-breath.
  5. Practice this Yes Breath for a minute or two.  Then take a moment to rest and notice any shifts in your level of vitality and ease in your body.

Happy Holidays!