...a simple yoga tool to help you consciously choose to experience a more peaceful life.

"Your thoughts do not create reality, but they do create your experience of it." --Alan Cohen

When you think back over your experience of the past hour, day or life as you remember it, what patterns come forward? We all have these patterns, they are veils through which we see life, veils developed from all the events and relationships we have experienced.

Have you ever been around someone who has difficulty remembering a "good" event, without an accompany "bad" aspect? These veils or layers-of-experience color how we see our lives and how we interpret every inter-action in which we participate, day after day. When such thinking and preceiving go unchecked and unnoticed, our attitude towards life can deteriorate, until we become grumpy, depressed, or even suicidal.

altWhen I teach yoga classes, I offer a simple tool that can help us become aware of the differences in how we feel and to make choices as to how we want to experience life. If we have carried emotional, mental, physical or spiritual burdens for very long, it is sometimes difficult to remember a time when they weren't present. It becomes very challenging to try and pull ourselves out of these holes of darkness.

When I begin classes, we do a variety of asanas (exercises) that stretch every tendon, acknowledge every muscle, and move every joint. This series of movements serves to release stuck energy or tension in the body, caused by feelings or injuries or lack of exercise. With this release and refocusing upon how the body is moving, instead of whatever mind loop one may have been going through, we actually come into a more peaceful state. It is showing us how to be present, because the present is where our body resides. It is a lesson in teaching us how to be aware of what is happening right here and right now.

We then lay out in a "corse pose," which is just lying on our back with hands out to the sides, palms up. During this time, I introduce a mudra, specifically the Guyan Mudra, which is applying mild pressure to the tip of the thumb on each hand, against the tip of the index finger on the same hand. This is a mudra to encourage calm and receptivity. With the added pattern of three slow deep breaths, you are encouraging lowered blood pressure, lowered heart rate and more oxygen to clear the brain of fuzzy thinking.

This is a powerful, yet elegantly simple, tool. It can be used anywhere. You may stand or sit. Your hands can hang at your sides or rest in your lap, while you take these non-obtrusive breaths. No one even needs to know that you are calming yourself. The more it is used, the more it becomes accessible to you.  Your mind will remember to use it, whenever you are in the midst of drama--either another's or your own--or whenever chaos strikes.  If you can remember to begin using this tool in all the little upsets of the day, it will be readily available to you in the bigger "realities" that come up in your life. With the use of this tool, you will intentionally open yourself to a new pattern...a healing mode that can bring you into an almost instant state of a more peaceful way of dealing with whatever is happening in front of, or within you.

Give it a shot...the only known side effect of this "medicine" is the possibility of inner peace and harmony. What do you have to lose, but a little sadness, a little anger, a little depression. Go for it.


Joann Turner