Practical Yoga

Hatha Yoga is one of the most practical tools for maintaining balance physically,mentally, and emotionally. And you don’t even have to do the asanas, postures, perfectly to reap its benefits!

For example, when facing one of life’s “battles,” in a relationship, at work, or in your finances, do warrior. Warrior opens the heart and draws the mind into the core of your body. Breathe to your belly slowly and evenly and remember that your strength and wisdom come from within. Take 3-5 breaths on each side, longer if you prefer. Affirmations are useful as you hold. Inhaling I breathe; exhaling I have courage (or I am strong).

Triangle is the posture of openness. Remember, you don’t have to put your forward hand on the floor to gain its benefits. Do triangle at the place where your body feels open in the shoulders and chest, even if your hand goes no lower than your knee. This asana is helpful in relationships. When holding, bring your awareness to the heart center and soften your rib cage. Breathe slowly and evenly and use an affirmation. Inhaling I breathe; exhaling my heart opens to love.

In the natural flow of life, we experience loss in many ways. Grief follows and can be embraced for its ability to enhance compassion and wisdom in our lives. Child pose creates a time and space that feels safe and warm, especially when done over a yoga bolster under a blanket. You can cover your head with the blanket as well if you feel the need to fully withdraw into the fetal position. Again, awareness comes to the breath as it expands into the abdomen and rib cage. Feel your body as it moves with your breath. Let the energy that wants to collect in tightness flow instead. Grief is an intense emotion but letting it flow lightens it. It may leak out your eyes in the form of tears; this is a good thing. Studies have shown that the chemicals in tears change depending on the cause of the tears. The body knows what to let go of!

Hatha yoga is a practical tool. Let yourself feel each asana in a whole new way. Form and alignment are important yet they are not everything. Their purpose is to release energy to flow well and easily and to protect from injury in the practice. The purpose of yoga goes way beyond those things. Open your mind, your body, your heart to new ways of experiencing your practice. Keep it simple and who knows what might unfold.

May our minds and hearts be open. May we continue to unfold into the awareness of True Self. May we live in ease as we discover our peace within.

Namaste.

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