After returning from my sunny, warm vacation, I could feel the never-ending winter getting to me. Last week when my daughter asked me if it was EVER going to be warm again, I had that tiny inkling of doubt myself even as I answered, “Of course it will”.
Being angry and frustrated about the weather doesn’t make the sun shine any brighter or the snow melt any faster so I reminded myself to “Embrace my Place” this week. As I have been exploring some of Gandhi’s teachings over the last couple of weeks I found a quote that brought me to this inspiration. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”
Last week I asked my students to cultivate harmony in themselves on their quest for happiness. As they practiced on the mat I kept asking them if what their bodies wanted was in harmony with what the mind was thinking. When we create that harmony, it allows us to “Embrace our Place” in this world, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
On the mat, we flowed quite a bit which required us to deeply focus and commit to what the body needed and what the mind was thinking through the practice. There were challenging transitions and deep stretches as well as opportunities to rest. I reminded my students often to connect to the harmony between the body and mind.
Creating harmony between what we do and what we the think on our mats can be quite challenging. It really comes down to perspective. Are we going to judge ourselves for what may not be available on our mat? Are we going to be critical if someone else can take a pose further than we can? Are we going to feel like a failure if we back off or rest? If we can answer “No” to these questions than we are creating harmony and able to “embrace our place”. Once we do, the happiness is there. As we practice accessing that harmony on our mats, the opportunity is there to find that harmony in life as well. We can ask ourselves similar questions off the mat, Are we going to judge ourselves based on the actions of others? Instead, can we be true to ourselves? If we find that truth and harmony then the happiness comes.
As they prepared for Savasana, I asked my students to again think about the harmony between body and mind, to quiet and still the mind as they surrendered to stillness in their bodies, to notice the harmony that can be achieved and the happiness that can follow.
I challenged myself this week to “Embrace my Place” in my body, on my mat and in the wintery world that is my physical place. So as I came into my Side Plank in my snowy backyard I took a deep breath, I “Embraced my Place” in my body, in my spirit and in the world and then I felt the Happiness follow. Namaste.