Tiffany Wood Yoga

Tip of the Month: Reaction vs. Response

Hummingbird flying in front of mountains
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~ Victor Frankl

In many situations we act immediately, without thinking—we react. These reactions can be, for example, out of anger or hurt, and they are reflexive reactions or patterns. It is often the way we react on a regular basis. We may also have a certain way of reacting out of sadness, confusion, disappointment, jealousy and the list goes on. These reflexive reactions often cause conflict and make a situation far more difficult than need be.

So what if you were able to respond in a calm non-reactive way? How do you stop reacting and start responding? You practice yoga. You pause, you take a breath, you create a space. You bring awareness to your breath. You bring awareness to the situation. If you are angry, can you breathe into the space you have created and see where the anger comes from? Can you breathe into the space and respond in a different way? Do you always need to be right? Is this an argument you have over and over again with no resolution? What is it that made you so angry? 

When we can pause, take a breathe, create a space, and be aware of our Selves in that moment we can often find a way to respond, and not react. This, of course, is a practice. We have a choice, and the more we know our Selves, the easier it is to see our own patterns and where we can allow our Selves the space to dig deeper and become more conscious of our actions.

When we can bring awareness to our breath, and create more space for our Selves and the people around us, we begin to have healthier relationships with our Selves and others, and we begin to know our Selves on a deeper level. We begin to grow and expand into more conscious, more aware human beings.