Yoga for Life: A yoga practice for holiday calmness

Posted 12/1/22

The pace of the day can be exhausting when our lives become filled every minute with working...

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Yoga for Life: A yoga practice for holiday calmness


The pace of the day can be exhausting when our lives become filled every minute with working, caring for loved ones, cleaning, washing, preparing meals, taking care of the yard, doctor appointments, home repairs, scheduling activities and lastly, taking care of ourself, especially during the holiday season. Somehow the order of our everyday life becomes “out-of-order.”

The emphasis in yoga class is taking care of oneself first, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually in order to calmly and fully give to others. A Yoga class is a setting in which to participate and hone the values that strengthen the forces of life and expand them fully into the world. It is like dropping a small rock in a pond and observing the ripples slowly expanding into large rings. Yoga is a place to renew and revive, pressing away the enclosing walls of the world by going “within” to the quietness of the inner sanctuary, actuated by calm, slow deep breathing and sharing the beauty within with others seeking to enlarge their inner sanctuary of peace.

One yoga posture that lengthens the side body and releases tension is the “Side Angle” pose. This posture begins by directing energy up the side body through a raised arm while the body rests on a bent knee. It is important to hold the pose and free any tightness in the core as you slowly extend the raised arm up and other arm down the thigh. Keep the extended leg long and the foot gripped to the mat, just as these yoga practioners at the Peter Powell Roberts Museum class in Avon Park. The beauty of the artistic surroundings frees the mind to just relax in the posture. Repeat the pose on both sides, then come back to a standing posture, or Tadassana.

At the end of every yoga class, we turn out the lights, lay outstretched on the yoga mat with legs up the wall. This is “Shevasana,” the final restorative pose. When we lie on the mat in Shavasana or with legs up the wall, the outside world fades. Any distracting thoughts pass through the mind/body like little butterflies, for another time. In “Shavasana,” the breath expands the front thoracic cavity on the inhale with a deep release of carbon dioxide/tension stored in the body, on the exhale. “Concentration” inward is the key to relaxation in the body and mind. Breathe and relax as you come in touch with your inner peace and renew. Iyengar yoga is slow moving with concentration/focus on each move before it is initiated. Every posture we practice in class is a pose to take home.

We evolve through our yoga practice and establish a greater authenticity in our life as we discover our own uniqueness. The very last mediation in yoga ends in the word “Namaste” with palms together in front of the “Heart Chakra.”