From The Yogi: DeStressed à la Moda

Sthira Sukham Asanam
Patanjali said: "A yoga pose is a steady, comfortable position."

I'll admit it.  Yoga lingo, well, it can be alienating {at first}:

It's early morning and I haven't had my cup o' Joe.  However, I HAVE made my way onto the mat for my morning practice. After flowing through 5 surya A's and 5 B's (ahhhh, the movement feels nice), I am led to my first standing pose to hold and work for a few breaths.

As my concentration increases, I remind myself to build strength, steady my breath, to open areas of my body and calm my mind, fire up the bandhas, find a gazing point, work all the asana points and then... find that sweetness -- that serenity of just being. 

Reader: "What?!?" 

I realize that's a lot to take in.  Let's see if we can simplify and then apply it to life off the mat. 

Stand firm.  Let go.  Be present.

When we are led through asana practices where we are encouraged to explore, test and confront our limits within a safe environment, we are meant to subconsciously learn how to handle our confrontations in everyday life until we find that sense of stability and ease that comes to us through our yoga practice. This lesson of when to react and when to not, when to stand firm and when to yield, essentially - BALANCE is Sthira Sukham.

"The yoga pose is firm but happy."

liken it to having that "a ha!" moment within a pose. For example, I had been working with handstand away from the wall for some time. After working through the laundry list above and continuing to return to the mat time and again, trying and trying, I finally got it. For just a few seconds, I found that invincible feeling of being a warrior and a weightless surrender as if I could stand on my hands forever. 
It was amazing. 

I had to find a way to sustain this sensation and state of mind both on and off the mat. 

The message is this: Yoga is a state of being, always in flux but with an attempt at finding peace in the midst of chaos {or what you may refer to as "stress"}.  It is not simply a series of contortions performed by vegan, bead-bracelet-wearing liberals.  You practice yoga simply by being you.  Your physical, mental and spiritual discipline IS Yoga.  Bet you didn't know that!

So in case you thought these posts from "The Yogi" would be some hippie mumbo-jumbo, SURPRISE! 
Come back for more.  
Yoga is fun and fashionable.  
Yoga is something you're already doing.

Lindsay &

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