For many of us, these last few weeks since the election have not been easy ones. The (surprising) election results were shocking, horrifying and so very hard to understand and take in. And the news since then continues to make me shake my head and my fist in the air… But even in the swirl of controversy, the Electoral College has made it official. We are left asking…what now?
When I find myself struggling, I often think of yoga, not only as a way to soothe and help regulate my weary soul, but I ask, what has this practice genuinely taught me? How does my time on the mat teach me to live my life?
- Breathe. If I can breathe through the difficulty and discomfort, I’m able to remain more present.
- Stay Present. Sit with the feelings, don’t run away or shut down. Feel and respond when ready (versus react.)
- Align skillfully. By figuring out how to align the various parts of me (physical and otherwise), I am able to align with greater clarity to the world around me.
- Direct, loving action. When I am well-aligned internally, my feet and heart move me to the places where I can make the biggest difference. Being loving doesn’t mean being a doormat and not speaking the truth. It means fully showing up, even when it makes me uncomfortable. (See first note…).
- Strong back. I use the practice to remind me of my utmost strength and ability to reside in this deep place of internal fortitude. I know that within me is my center and home base, wherever I might be.
- Opening towards. Where I shut down, I can no longer access my deepest intuition and wisdom. When I can accept where I am, I can move forward in curiosity and with heart.
- Community. The deep, extraordinary gift of connection with like-hearted and like-minded friends is life-building, sustaining, and necessary.
- Take my elegant, dignified seat. The meditation posture is one that simply makes me smile. It is a posture of inner beauty and dignity that I practice to help me recognize this beauty in all other beings (even those I struggle to understand or seem to be ‘enemies’),as well as myself.
Courage friends, courage. We must allow our practice to infuse our life, and to make our lives and society greater, more just, more inclusive and kind.
What sits with you as you think about your yoga practice? What can you share with us?