While teaching my yoga class this morning (6:30 AM Tues morning @ the Shea Mountainside if anyone wants to come!! ;)), I taught a pose called ardha supta virasana, or “half reclined hero pose.” For some – this pose is easy, but for some of my older students, it’s really hard/ uncomfortable. It’s where you’re seated on the ground, one leg stretched out in front, and the other bent where your heel is next to your butt, and you lay back on the ground. A really deep front-of-the-thigh stretch. For full reclined hero, you would have both knees bent.
So the reason I am talking about this pose, is because I ended up saying something like, “If this pose feels uncomfortable, just place yourself in some of the conversations that may come up at Thanksgiving dinner! And what’s a good idea to do then? To BREEAATHHHEE. Just like we are now, in ardha supta virasana!” I got a couple of chuckles.
The reason I said that in my yoga class is because my grandparents are currently visiting from out of town. I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes relatives/family members like to ask questions or bring up topics that are challenging to discuss. Topics like politics, religion, health, relationships, or in my grandfathers case, how my date on Saturday night went and when am I going to have babies. Add in his newly developing memory problems, and he’s asking me this very same question (about the date) multiple times a day. Needless to say, this has resulted in me having to come back to my BREATH multiple times a day. (DISCLAIMER: I absolutely LOVE my grandparents and having them come visit; this is just an anecdote to make a point.)
This is where the yoga is turned practical. Or as some say, “Taking it OFF the mat.” If you can’t be practicing the physical practice of yoga (asana), you can still be practicing
1. Self awareness. Consciously breathing as a way to come back to this idea of your “peaceful center.” Each time you have a conscious breath, it’s a reminder to come back to this place. Then you can see the opposite view point and respond to understand rather than prove wrong. You can find a little bit more patience when responding to conversations that may take place at dinner. Or when your grandfather asks about your date for the 47th time. All that good stuff that can make a night go much more smoothly and lovely.
and 2. Living in the present. Remaining FULLY present at your meal. Finding immense amounts of gratitude for the amount of food you are seeing in front of you. (An amount that some people in India would probably faint over seeing!) Smelling the aromas of the food before you ingest it. Slowly chewing and tasting your food to really enjoy each bite you take. Listening to the people at the table for what they have to say, and to encourage positive, healthy, and engaging conversations. Feeling your belly burst open the buttons on your pants because you’re on your third plate (lol). Just taking a step back, living in that present moment, and enjoying. Smiling because you’re happy 🙂 Regardless of what else is going on it life. Because in the end, the present moment is all we really have anyways.
And then, finding a lot of gratitude for the practice of yoga that teaches us the tools to be more patient, compassionate, and loving towards the people closest to us, and to the rest of the world. Always spreading that love! 🙂
Thanks for reading!! Leave a comment if you feel so inclined to!
PS. I’m subbing a yoga class at 9 AM ON THANKSGIVING DAY at the Mountainside Ice Den location! Tiny cute little studio to come get centered before feasting 🙂 Come join!!