Breaking through unproductive thoughts and behaviors requires attention to a new dimensional awareness beyond “the now.” Each day presents a new challenge to awaken the mind, review patterns of behavior and decide if these thoughts/actions are the way you want to be. It takes a conscious effort to self-monitor the person you want to be and continual practice for it to happen.
If we sometimes feel robotic, it is a message to cut free and reinvent “purpose” with follow-up action. In Yoga, it is seriously, not serious, when it is time to cut free from worldly pressure and just have fun. After a dedicated Yoga practice, focusing on alignment and correct form, take time to live, love and laugh by letting go. A Yoga class, opens a well of joy to exchange laughter in one another’s company while reaping the benefits of improving health. Yoga relieves anxiety and frustration absorbed unconsciously from the world.
There is one posture for everyone to enjoy that accomplishes health improvement and laughter in the meantime. This is Tree Pose in a Circle. At the beginning of one class, Sebring YMCA Yoginis enjoyed the fun of moving into this posture. To begin the pose, everyone gathers together in the center of room in a big circle, clasping hands and turning one bent knee to the outside. This is the first stage of gaining balance while supporting each other on one leg. Through this action each person realigns individual balance into a group “synergy” and gracefully initiates the pose.
After standing for a few moments in the pose with a smile, everyone changes sides by switching to the other leg and clasping hands in the center of the circle. Once again, the group supports gaining unified balance as the center of energy becomes steady. It is fun to challenge group balance through cooperation and unity while having fun!
After holding the posture for a few minutes, the group reforms and repeats the pose on the other leg. In Yoga, it is good to practice each posture several times to make individual corrections. As a finale, bring the circle to the floor and lie down with both knees out to the side, arms outstretched, relaxed with palms up, soles of the feet together and knees spread apart.
“Tree Pose” can also be practiced in a straight line with each person using the wall, mirror or a chair for support. Once again, each person holds the pose to stabilize balance before repeating on the other side.
Standing poses for physical balance, breaks through a pattern of continual stress and rushing around, by just stopping and making physical/mental corrections. As technology speeds up the pace of life and we attempt to fit more into our busy schedule with work, worry, raising a family with less attention on our personal needs to let go and just have fun, anxiety begins to unconsciously creep in and take precedence over inner peace and contentment. We often forget what it is like to have fun, so we have to re-create it. Thus, before the mind/body reacts with irritability and fatigue that can lead to more serious health concerns down the road, we need to stop and take inventory of ourself. If we consciously choose to initiate and learn a harmonious, healthful Yoga practice, peace, harmony and laughter will return.
Dr. Robert Eliot, former Director of Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiology at St. Luke’s Hospital in Phoenix, says: “At one point when stress was primarily physical, people could change activities and re-focus. For the most part, modern stress is of a different nature as it is often an unconscious and edgy energy turned inward and absorbed until “burn out.””
Initiate a routine each day to return to the Yoga mat, lay flat and just breathe; close the eyes loosely and visualize beauty, harmony and peace. Bring the lips into a permanent smile and take it with you. Just do it at your desk, before you go to sleep at night or anytime to create positive energy and inner peace. You will see!