This year has held tremendous amounts of uncertainty. Uncertainty with the coronavirus, our jobs, and most importantly, our lives. The emotions you feel while trying to navigate and adapt to this new unknown are valid. With all that is transpiring, recurrences of inequity in our nation are causing new and past to wounds to surface.
The impact of George Floyd's passing can be seen across the world. In the last month, "I can't breathe" became widespread and heartache has been felt as well as visually demonstrated through multiple expressions of grief. Words hold powerful energy and during high levels of pain, restricted breathing patterns can occur to disconnect us from our emotions. Still being in a pandemic, some may have not had a moment for reflection and introspection. This event is to reflect, hold space for healing, and reconnect us with our breath.
George Floyd wanted to breathe. No one should have the power to take away someone else's life energy. To avoid restricting our breath and life energy, we will focus on breathing together. We will unite to bring awareness to our breath in honor of George Floyd and many other countless lives lost to police brutality. We will breathe for ourselves and for those who could not.
The first portion of this event is guided to explain diaphragmatic breathing and the sensations of the breath. The second part of this event is silent breathing that we will do together. Silent and mindful breathing can encourage room for reflection as we sit, breathe, and become more aware of our thoughts and feelings. During the silent breathing, we will meditate on the mantra "I will breathe" because we must continue to breathe for George and ourselves.
This event will be guided by Jalisa Monroe, instructional technology specialist with the Division of Information Technology. Jalisa is a certified yoga teacher, reiki practitioner, and optimum life breathologist. She became aware of her breath in February 2019 during her yoga teacher training. Since becoming aware, she has shared her journey with others and advocates bringing awareness to the breath through her company Namaste with Jay LLC. Jalisa has hosted breathing workshops throughout Maryland for local studios and companies. Currently, she is guiding the 5-week Moving with the Breath series at UMBC and hopes to continue sharing breath awareness with the UMBC community.