When you find yourself in the midst of chaos or feeling triggered, anxious, short-tempered or reactive, these go-to poses can help you stay calm, centered, grounded and even compassionate.
As part of the centering practice at the beginning of class, I say "Let go of your day. Let go of any conversations you've had or events that occurred. Let go of your plans for the future. Let go of your to-do lists and anticipation of what’s to come. Be here now."
In full disclosure, my mind often thinks about the future. I plan, dream, think ahead, and make to-do lists. Take for example, my current to-do list: write a blog post, study anatomy, plan a beach trip, meditate, practice backbends, make sauerkraut, study the yoga sutras, go hiking, go biking, get in the water, take more yoga classes, make an acupuncture appointment, learn Spanish, pursue more training, enroll in a mentorship program, study Sanskrit, travel, read the stack of books on my night stand, go here, go there...
In 2014, the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. The resolution states, "yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being, and a wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practising yoga would be beneficial for the health of the world population."
And so, thousands of people across the world gather on this day to honor the ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice. How beautiful it is to celebrate something that unites us rather than divides us! It seems appropriate since the word yoga derives from the Sanskrit word meaning to join or to unite and symbolizes the union of body and consciousness.
Abhyasa is the Sanskrit term for effort, practice, or work done consistently over time. This means showing up. Getting on your mat. Even if you’ve practiced Warrior I five hundred times, there is always something new to learn and effort to be made.
Vairagya is translated as non-attachment or letting go. This means being content with what is. Relaxing your eyes. Unclenching your jaw. Surrendering the will to force a particular outcome.
These may seem contradictory to each other.
Breathing through the mouth can be beneficial when you need to rapidly release carbon dioxide during an intense work out, but breathing through the nose is preferred for many reasons. Similar to Warrior Pose or Triangle Pose, deep breathing requires some technique.