FLOW AND LET GO

“Understand the flow of actions and consequences in your life. The choices you make now create the moments you will experience in the future”
– Quote taken from Susan Woldman’s “Yoga Path” Card Deck

Understanding the flow of actions and their consequences in our lives is quite a significant undertaking. However, if we start small and focus on the little choices we make each day… smiling at a person on the street, posting a positive message on Facbebook, reaching out to a friend who is going through a hard time…we can be pretty certain that these little acts of kindness will com back to us somehow. Karma – we all know the term well.

I feel like one way that we take action in our lives on a regular basis these days is actually online. The internet has become the main social network for many of us who may be leading busy busy – run-here-there-and-everywhere – lives. We have conversations, email, make plans, showcase our recent activities, experiences and moods through our Facebook status. I have been making a concerted effort this past year to keep my Facebook profile and status updates as positive as I can. I have been making an effort to use this online social network for spreading love and peace and happiness in the hopes that it will reach out and virtual hug people. And in return I have been virtually hugged back by many many many friends.

Along the way though I have also been confronted with a lot of negativity and really mean-spirited, hateful words and messages that people put out there into cyberspace…sometimes just passive aggressive frustrations and other times actual personalized hate messages on someone’s website, facebook page etc. I started looking around at this because people can write their opinions on pretty much anything. I see a lot of anger and hate being spread “virally” on the internet and it saddens me greatly.

When I encounter angry, frustrated, stressed out or mean people…my first thought is…I wonder if they would be this way if they practiced yoga this morning? I can feel the tightness and the tension in them. The blocked energy pathways. I wish for them that they were able to experience the “flow and let go” of a cat/cow or a sun salutation. I do not see these people as inherently mean or negative people. I know that when I have not had my regular dose of asana practice I can get pretty cranky. I see things in a different light. I have less patience. I get more easily agitated and annoyed.

Luckily I have learned to recognize this pretty darn quickly and know I need to get to the mat and work out the negative energy building up inside of me. And if I haven’t picked up on it you can guarantee my husband will and is quick to encourage me to make sure I make time for a class that day. When I do…I flow through movement and breath…I release and let go of negative thoughts, experiences and frustrations and am a better wife, a more understanding and compassionate person and a lighter version of myself. It is easier to find gratitude and appreciation. That choice – to go to yoga and put it all out there on the mat – affects what I experience in the future… whether the future is an hour later when I encounter any particular situation and respond differently…or two years later when I will experience an extremely difficult or stressful situation in a much more prepared and stable way.

I am also much more inspired to write and share my own positive energy when I have cultivated it through my yoga practice and have cleared my mind of the millions of worries and thoughts that can cause great distraction from happiness and joy. I had no idea, when I first started writing, how important those positive messages would be for people. Why are blogs/daily quotes/inspirational messages so important? Because we are living in a world that can swallow us up with negativity so easily and we are all searching for the happiness, joy, peace, love and positive, uplifting words, thoughts and experiences. We can offer it out and it will be whatever it is meant to be for each person…and if it connects with one person on one day then it is worth it.

For the next week… why don’t we all make a commitment to send out positive and uplifting words and intentions to the world via whatever social media networks you are a part of. Try waking up each morning or ending the day each evening by posting a positive Facebook message for the world to see and be uplifted by. Post a compliment or gratitude on someone’s Facebook wall. Even those people who you didn’t know were reading can be impacted by your words. You can make a day better and brighter for so many people with one minute and a few taps of the keyboard. These actions will have an impact on what we experience in the future.

 

SUGGESTED YOGA POSE: Cat/Cow – Flow and LET GO
Today, I went to a yoga class with two of my amazing girlfriends. We started the class by doing a lot of cat/cows. No matter how many years I have been practicing yoga – I never tire of the flow of cat/cow (at least for me). It is something that any one of you can do. You do not need to attend yoga classes or practice regularly at home. You do not need to be super strong or flexible. You do not even need to do it on your hands and knees if that is difficult.

  • On all fours, bring your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips

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  • Think of your spine as a straight line, connecting your shoulder to your hips

  • COW – As you inhale, curl your toes under, drop your belly and take your gaze up to the ceiling

  • The movement of your spine starts from your tailbone so that your neck is the last part to move

  • CAT – As you exhale, release the tops of your feet to the floor, round your spine and drop your head gently and take your gaze to your bellybutton

  • Repeat the cat/cow stretch by matching your movement with your breath.

  • Cow on the inhale and cat on the exhale.

  • Continue this for 5-10 full breaths, moving your whole spine and coming back to a neutral spine on your final exhale.


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