Sunny Side Up Yoga - Week 3: ACTION
Sunny Side Up Yoga is a 4 week virtual mini series, focusing on how to bring optimism into your life and practice. Join me on your phone or computer on Facebook Live for 4 Tuesdays in a row (January 24th - February 14th). I'll be recording a free live yoga practice from 8:30am - 9:00am and posting a corresponding blog post here. If you miss the live showing, the replay is available to you anytime!
These 4 practices will be geared toward developing an attitude of optimism throughout your day. Best practiced in the morning, if possible, we will work together to shift our attitudes, our reactions, refine our thoughts and become more aware of internal dialogue. Through gentle movement, breathing and meditation, I want to share the experience of starting your day off with the right mindset. (No yoga mat or experience needed.)
I hope you'll join me live, where you can interact directly and ask questions. Mark your calendars and join me here on the 14th for the final live practice.
Week 3: ACTION
In week 2, we talked about speaking in the affirmative. This subtle shift in energy and intention is so powerful, so we practiced moving towards words that are supportive and energetically healing. Today we explored how optimism translates into what you do and how you move your body.
There's lots of science behind our moods and emotions negatively affecting our bodies. But there's also science about the way we move and carry our bodies affecting our moods and emotions. Known as embodied cognition, this philosophy is the idea that the relationship between our mind and body runs both ways, meaning our mind influences the way our body reacts, but the physical shape of our body also triggers our mind.
"The brain has an area that reflects confidence, but once that area is triggered it doesn’t matter exactly how it’s triggered," says Richard Petty, professor of psychology at Ohio State University. "It can be difficult to distinguish real confidence from confidence that comes from just standing up straight … these things go both ways just like happiness leads to smiling, but also smiling leads to happiness." - Source
So knowing that the way we move throughout our day LITERALLY directly influences our mood, maybe some of your movement could use some refining. Here are a few suggestions we covered during practice:
Step 1: Straighten your spine. Your nervous system lives within your spinal column. Crunched spine means crunched nerves, compromised immune system and bad moods. So do whatever it takes to straighten your spine without force. See a great chiropractor, notice your posture throughout the day and 'fake it till you make it' or consider private yoga instruction. (Shameless plug, I know, but seriously. It's legit.)
Step 2: Slow everything down. If our minds are triggered by the way we move, slowing down your movement will help to calm and slow the mind. If we're constantly feeding into the frenetic rush, even seemingly beneficial movement, such as working out or running, can still negatively fuel our 'fight or flight' reactions. Learn how to develop patience through your movement.
Step 3: Translate all movement into action. I love this quote by BKS Iyengar:
“Action is movement with intelligence. The world is filled with movement. What the world needs is more conscious movement, more action.”
You can tell if you're in movement or action by what your mind is doing. If you're thinking about anything else other than what your body is experiencing, then it's mindless movement. If you're setting an intention to feel, experience, slow down and refine, it can become action. Practice moving mindfully when you're doing daily tasks such as washing dishes, driving, sitting at your desk or working. Over time, you will be amazed at how much calmer you feel.
I hope this was helpful and gave you some things to think about off the mat. Please let me know if you have any questions and be sure to tune in next week, week 4 out of 4! We'll be focusing on LOVE. I hope you'll join me live, where you can interact directly and ask questions.
Mark your calendars and join me here on Tuesday the 14th (Valentine's Day) at 8:30am!