‘Physical and mental toxins create stiffness and tension. Anything that makes us stiff can also break us. Only if we are supple will we never break’
This quote really struck a cord with me today, it reminded me of the saying about bendy trees that don’t break in the wind. Yoga helps our bodies to become flexible and strong and (if done properly) helps us to prevent illness, injury and disease. As with all yoga lessons though this can be taken off the mat too. If we are stiff, tense and stressed out then we can snap at people easily, lose our temper and break out in a fury. It can make us lose control. It can make us lose our cool. It can break us.
If you practice yoga to cultivate a new inner calmness and begin to use the physical practice to flush out the mental stiffness as well as the physical one then your mind will become a calmer place. Just like stilling the ripples on a lakes surface, we calm the mind.
When we have less stiffness in the body but also in the mind, then we are less likely to blow a fuse so quickly. We are becoming more supple, again both physically and mentally. We are more prepared to deal with confrontation, confusion and upheaval because we have the inner calmness to keep us relaxed at highly pressurised times. We are in fact less likely to break.
Recently my Dad got me a new van, I was moving house with no vehicle so was desperate to get new wheels. Moving house is one of the single most stressful things that one can do right, so moving house with no car is stressful x 100. I went down to Cornwall to pick up the new van, only to find out that it had no tax disc. I stayed calm. “its ok” I told myself “i can wait until Monday – its not like I have an important deadline to meet – like moving out of my house by Monday afternoon”
I didn’t get mad. My all new yoga calmness prevented me from shouting at him in a rage.
Monday morning came around and we headed off to the post office. When asked to provide the paperwork for the vehicle, my Dad produces a form from the internet but no registration document. The lady behind the counter shakes her head. No can do. We are directed of to the nearest DVLA office in Truro, some 25 miles away. Again instead of losing the plot at my Dad, I decide to casually laugh at the situation and point out to him that I had backed the wrong horse. I could feel the anger, the upset, the rage creeping up on me but instead i observed my options for a response and calmly decided which way I was going to respond. I had already learnt the hard way that you choose how you respond to a situation. If you choose anger then it becomes like the colour that you have chosen to wear that day. There is no point in blaming someone else or saying it was ‘their’ fault you got angry. You are responsible for your own reactions.
When there are already less toxins and stiffness in your being, then you can deal with things in a calmer manner. If you are already stressed out about a million other things then one little thing like being in the wrong county, with a car that you can’t tax on the day that you are supposed to be moving house 200 miles away, would simply be too much to bear. Yet if you cultivate a clear mind, and practice putting things into perspective and live day at a time, then these things do not break you.
That day I was extremely grateful for having done my yoga practice in the morning, for taking time to to release my stiffness and tension, from both my mental and my physical being. That day i was grateful to have become more supple. I was grateful that I didn’t break.
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