Maintaining your center of the mat
Your boss has you working on an impossible deadline.
E-mails are rapidly filling your in-box, their incessant pinging demanding Immediate response even though most are not urgent. your spouse calls and says you must pick up the kids today, Versions of this are endless. Insert your own here!
Suddenly you feel your jaw clench, your shoulders grip and your neck stiffen, a headache starts to build around your temples. Where, you wonder, is the beauty yoga practice?
- You pause and remember one lesson from that class.
- You seek your midline: the physical divide between the sides of your body, between your front and your back,
- Slowly, steadily, you draw your energy within and then release it outwards, Maintaining your center:
- The entire process takes sixty seconds, but it gets you feeling the even flow breath again, in and out, the tension begins to release.
- The deadline is still impossible, but perhaps you find the courage to ask your boss for more time.
- The kids still need to picked up but you find the resources to do so with a smile, And those e-mails, well they can wait.
Those moments when life demands more of you
Often, when we think of yoga we think of a classor a workshop. Long of twisting yourself into pretzel•like shapes, floating high balanced on our hands, or bent like a tightly strung bow. But what if you thought of that class as just a rehearsal, a practice session for the performance you really want to ace, such as those moments when life demands more of you than you think you can deliver? What if that class was a way to build muscle memory for the skills it takes to master life’s greater tasks?Which skills would you want to be sure to learn?
The form of yoga we do (postures, flow, breath), as deep as they are, are still the outer shape of the practice. The real function of yoga is to provide ways in which, during the stresses of life, you find your midline: the balance between action and stillness, speed and precision, wisdom and energy, firmness and flexibility. Striking that midline helps us rise up and become our best self in all the roles we take in our lives —better at our careers, as parents, and in relationships.
Remember the tools
So the next time life seems stressful and overwhelming remember the tools you learn during yoga. Use your breath to find a little centering, use movement to find stillness.
Use the the power of strength ta create flexibility, when you draw your energy inward, towards the midline, and then release it, the practice will have given you its ultimate reward.
Stacey Rosenberg is committed to teaching students about their bodies providing them
with the foundation to live more vibrant lives.