Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween? Seriously? Just Breathe!

So, it’s Halloween.

Amazingly enough, school is seriously underway, the soccer/hockey/volleyball seasons are two months in, plays are in rehearsal…



I remember getting thru the beginning of the school year mostly by surrendering to the momentum, the forward motion of the calendar. I wasn’t the most athletic gal on the Upper West Side of Manhattan so for me, it went something like this:

Math quiz Tuesday
Glee Club rehearsal Wednesday
Play auditions Thursday
History test Friday
Paper due Monday
Play call-backs Tuesday
Glee Club rehearsal Wednesday
Spanish quiz Thursday
Yearbook meeting Thursday
Ideas for end of term paper due Monday

And so on until Winter break. You just hit your deadlines, you keep showing up where you’re supposed to having done the best job on A, B, or C possible, you embrace the one-thing-after-another of it all like the good girl you are as you tumble along like Jill after Jack. You do it cuz you have to. You do it cuz you can.

But, at a certain point, you might find yourself stepping back and saying ‘Whoa’. At a certain point, you might find yourself feeling more than a little overwhelmed, feeling the weight of a plate that is overly full.

And I’m sure you know this but I’ll say it to you anyway: totally normal. What you might not know is that it’s completely in your power to slow things down, even for a few minutes, and regain some control, perspective and calm.

Try this: take a seat on the floor. Sit up straight – against a wall, not against a wall – Indian Style (in yoga we call this Sukasana or ‘Easy Pose’), eyes closed, hands on your knees. Let your shoulders relax, your shoulder blades almost drip down your back. Now, take slow, easy breaths thru your nose, each inhale and each exhale getting a little longer, a little slower, a little deeper. Let go of your full plate, your schedule, the quizzes and papers, the call backs and rehearsals, the ‘what comes next and next and next’, and just breathe.

In this simple act of breathing for even as little as 5 minutes, a lot of what yoga is comes together: staying in the present, letting go physically and mentally, connecting to the breath, carving out time for yourself to just be still. There will be more as we take this yoga journey together but for now, for 5 minutes out of your incredibly busy day, let this be enough.
You can do it! Remember, you’re awesome! You’re a Beautiful Yoga Girl!

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