27 May, 2013

A good way to be.

Sthira Sukham Asanam:
Tips for creating a steady ease in your practice and life.

We have all had days that start sideways, take us backwards, and finish feeling like we’re upside down. The same can be true sometimes on the mat. Sthira Sukham Asanam is a sutra that says all yoga poses should be steady and comfortable.  The following are tools that can help you move more evenly through a hectic day and challenging yoga practice. 

1.     Slow your reaction by taking bigger breaths.
Before you have the chance to shout at the driver that cut you off in traffic or mentally curse your yoga teacher, pause and take 3 big inhales and exhales. When you replace the stress hormone cortisol with fresh oxygen the brain operates more efficiently. Breathing in place of reacting sharply, will move you through your practice and commute more happily.

2.     Relax your face.

Start by taking a small space in between your teeth and dropping your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Feel heaviness in both cheeks like they belonged to a hound dog. Connect the upper and lower eyelids and feel the corners of your eyes widening. A relaxed face brings focus back to the breath and brings a kind easiness to your words.

3.     Clean up.
Get rid of clutter. Leave all non-essentials (jewellery, bags, phones, etc.) out of sight when practicing.  Work to have at least one small space at home that is junk and noise free. Living in a space free of distraction will improve your focus and promote introspective thoughts.

4.     Have a ritual.
Find a favourite class (day, time, and teacher) and attend it ritually each week. Over time you will see a development in your physical practice and become more aware of how your body fluctuates. Tapas is a practice of self discipline, that leads to a life of focus and principle.

5.     Laugh.
There is no better way to feel good and gain perspective. A Yoga practice is ultimately a vehicle to bring us to more happiness. Go straight to the source and laugh out loud every day. For more development towards your Laughter Yoga practice visit http://www.laughteryoga-canada.org/.

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