“The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.” ~~Elbert Hubbard
(I got this pic from here)
Have you ever noticed how your body reacts when you’re tense? For many people, they notice their teeth will clench, their shoulders will tense, their breath becomes erratic. Many of us notice our bodies react in this way when we get stressed in a particular situation life throws our way. And when this happens, we may notice we tend to panic, rush to “fix” the problem, place blame (many times incorrectly), and/or overreact. I know that, personally, I am guilty of all of this. I can give you instances where I’ve experienced every single one of these physical and emotional reactions to stress.
Just so you know, the same thing can happen when we’re on our yoga mats. For example, if you’re attempting an extremely challenging pose, you may notice your teeth clenching and your shoulders tensing. You may also notice you’re gasping for air or holding your breath. Ever tried to get into Astavakrasana (Eight Angle) Pose?
(This is Astavakrasana…I got this pic from here)
I definitely catch myself doing these things when I am working on taking a particular pose to the next level, or trying a new pose for the first time. I’ve attempted Astavakrasana Pose several times, to no avail, and I’m clenching the teeth, tensing the shoulders and holding my breath EVERY time I try it! When I take the time to stop and pay attention to my breath and my body in every pose, to take a moment to re-set myself both mentally and physically when I notice these things happening, my practice always brings my body, mind and spirit to a much more serene space. My soul literally feels rejuvenated.
This coming week in class, we’ll be focusing on paying attention to our minds, bodies and breath when we’re practicing on our mats. There’s no rush to “get” anywhere. Let’s enjoy the journey together as we explore what is best on that particular day. No worries. So, let’s relax a little bit and maybe even “hoot a few hoots” now and then…