Wisdom I Learned in Yoga Class
Yoga is not just about doing a series of poses. Among other things, it is about your relationship to the Earth – aka – ground below your feet. The more grounded you feel, the more you feel supported – the more you get in alignment and really feel the pose.
Ever since I started actively working on being grounded, I have noticed that I become more responsive and less over-reactive. Likewise, I am more mindful, more compassionate, and more positive. I am able to recognize the positive intent of others. Don’t get me wrong, this is a process. When you’ve spent your whole life being reactive and anxious, it takes a lot of practice and self-belief to get the grounding thing down. I do my best to celebrate my little successes. I have also worked on being less judgmental of myself. This, too, takes practice.
Another pose that is associated with grounding, among other things is Mountain pose. In fact, as my yoga instructor constantly reminds us, “Mountain pose exists within every pose you do.” Mountain pose is all about opening, aligning and grounding. This is not just wisdom for your body, it relates to your mind and spirit, too. In fact, it could be seen as your philosophy of life. To the unaware bystander, Mountain pose is just standing up. What is so amazing about that? In reality, it is so much more. One is asked to pay attention to one’s feet, making sure that one’s feet are grounded and firm. “Feel all four corners of your feet,” my instructor says. Next, one is asked to focus on elongating the spine, while making sure shoulders are lowered. Finally, one imagines one’s back of one’s neck lengthening as one looks ahead with a slight lowering of the chin. When I do this pose, I feel my body opening, releasing tension, and aligning. Afterwards, I even walk more straight. My gait from my cerebral palsy seems to go away for a while. On an esoteric level, I feel more wise, open (as in I welcome the things around me ), and more trusting. I see how my body supports me, and I cannot help but feel grateful.
Here is just some of the wisdom I’ve learned from doing yoga and grounding exercises. It is quite enlightening, indeed:
1) The most important thing is one’s breath
2) One is precious and deserves to feel connected, grounded, and supported with every breath.
3) One is not supposed to feel pain; if one feels pain continue at a lighter level
4) One only can measure oneself against oneself. The minute one compares oneself to others, one has lost the whole point.
5) Physical, mental, and spiritual well-being can only be found when one makes it a practice. One’s practice is completely unique and honored.
6) Movement is not the only thing that is important; rest is also necessary for balance and health
7) It is important to connect to, and open your heart space.
8) Release any need to judge oneself or others; and, accept where you are in the present moment
9) Pay attention to the wisdom of the body; recognize the body as a vehicle that makes life possible.
10) Genuinely thank yourself for taking time to focus on you
11) Recognize the Light that lives within you, and honor the Light you see in others.
About the Author
Mandy is a sex-positive, generation Xer who founded her personal blog, Aphrodite Blossoming – “The Musings of an Unconventional Woman.” She writes to share her story, inspire others, and celebrate her personal and spiritual development. Mandy published her first short story in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Possible” – which was released on October 6, 2015. From 2014-2015 she was a regular contributor on “Indie Chicks” and “Heart & Soul E-Zine.” When Mandy is not writing, she enjoys watching live musicals, singing karaoke with her life-partners and friends, playing catch with her dog, and attending her weekly gentle yoga class.
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