Surrender 101: The Art of the Exhale

Surrender 101: The Art of the Exhale

Using the breath as a singular moment of surrender is a powerful practice. Most of the time, breathing is an unconscious act, as our bodies do it automatically in order to keep us alive. It’s easy to forget that we have the power to tune into our breath, learn from it, and even change its patterns. Focusing on the breath and meditating on its constant rhythm can make us feel more connected to our minds, bodies, and spirits. Here, we’ll focus on the exhale breath, which is the moment of surrender when we let the air out and surrender. Surrender is a huge part of the recovery process and we can learn a lot about the physical and emotional feeling of surrender through the simple act of meditating on our exhales.

The Exhale: A Meditation on Surrender

Close your eyes and find a comfortable seated position.

Take a deep inhale through the nose and feel the belly and diaphragm rise while they fill with breath.

Notice the moment of suspension between inhale and exhale. 

Release the air and exhale, noticing your stomach and chest fall. Repeat this simple deep breathing exercise a few times, concentrating on the exhale and the ways your body moves and feels.

Repeating this same deep breathing, imagine that you’re inhaling anything you’d like to bring into your recovery. Inhale any positive emotions, tools, and growth for the recovery journey.

As you exhale, release what’s no longer serving you in your recovery process. The exhale is a space of release, surrender, and vulnerability, which are all necessary for growth. 

The inhale is a space of contraction and holding, whereas the exhale is a release. You can probably feel the difference in your body when you tune in. As you exhale, your body relaxes. 

In recovery, we’re asked to surrender to a power greater than ourselves. Although it seems counterintuitive, surrendering is a pathway to growth. When we let go, we create space for learning. When you’re feeling confused or resistant to the act of surrender, tune into your breath and focus on the exhale. 


Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138.

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