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I’m posting this photo since it is one of the very rare photos I can find of myself “relaxing.” I used to say that the hardest thing for me about subbing a yoga class was to que Shavasana as something other than a nap. Relaxation doesn’t come naturally to me, yet it may be the most important element in acclimating to a change in lifestyle. I employ it out of necessity.
Long-term successful weight loss comes from making it comfortable, and relaxing into the boundaries of the cup (your portion.) Try not to resist the edges or bump into the top of the cup wondering if it is supposed to have a lid or examining where exactly is the bottom – relax into it and enjoy what is there. Forget all that doesn’t fit today. There is always room in your cup tonight or tomorrow for the craving that doesn’t fit in this meal. Relax into the limitations, they are there for your liberty, ease of movement, freedom to feel, independence from any addictions and the sovereignty to realize your dreams. Fill Your Cup.
Today I went to an hour-and-a-half “Flow Yoga” class. This is new for me; I typically squeeze in the “Power Hour” Yoga class once or twice a week. I may come to class, nearly late and often leave early. I guess I am trying to wedge the Zen into my day. Today I took space, for the long flow class and each pose she lead us to hold for five full deep “this-is-painfully-long-is-she-absolutely-kidding-me-are-we-STILL-here?” breaths.
Then, about 45 min into class, I started noticing that with each breath I felt a little more about the pose, if I paid attention to the feeling I would find more space, more nuance, more depth. After 45 min of this slow deep flow I was finally there in the moment, and I giggled because I guess that’s why they schedule the class for an hour and a half – it takes the Type-A speed junkie’s 45 minutes to GET in to the class!
In those five breaths I melted edges, found alignment, and got closer to knowing what the pose was about. I wonder if we gave ourselves just 5 min of real true hunger before we eat, five minutes of space in that hungry place. If we could count five breaths for five minutes and notice what our body craves, feeling what we might be missing instead of grabbing for nuts or chips or chocolate. Is there something our body needs that we would feel if we would only take-5 before we Fill our Cup? Enjoy your weekend, take-5.
There are certain teachers that say these things in yoga that stick in my heart for days. Alex Austin was teaching me to have confidence in my handstand and said, “If you press the world away I promise you will feel strong enough.” I believed him and he was right! I stood on my hands for several seconds.
During the holidays with so many extra events and errands thrown into our already busy lives, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and weakened. So, push the world (and your list) away. For just 3 minutes try this mini-meditation:
1) Feel your breath
2) Sense your heartbeat
3) Notice your weight – Where does gravity connect you to your chair, or to the floor? Where do you feel full?
4) Feel your lightness – Where do your ribs float above your hips? Where do you feel space?
5) Remember your favorite memory or dream about December and hold that warm feeling in your mind.
Push the world away – I promise you will feel strong enough to get through your day AND keep your cup full of Holiday Peace.