Thursday, January 20, 2011

Flexibility of the Mind

The body isn't the only thing that needs stretching. The mind needs to be kept flexible too. Yoga can help with both. By taking the lessons you learn on the mat and applying them to the rest of your life, you might find that more than your muscles become limber.

When you try poses that take you outside your comfort zone, such as headstand or arm balances, you are showing yourself that you can adapt to new situations. You learn that you can challenge yourself even if it feels awkward or you aren't exactly successful with your first attempts. In other words, you learn to go with the flow.

I read a quote once that says, much of our lives are spent either trying to speed up or slow down the river of life instead of going with the flow. This is so true. We always seem to be in a hurry to get somewhere and once we are there we are in a hurry to get somewhere else. We get mad when our jobs are too demanding but complain when they don't challenge or fulfill us. Parents want their kids to be old enough to take care of themselves but then pine for the days when they were babies. Life's transitions can also make us feel ridged and insecure.

About five years ago I made the transition from working mainly for other studios and organizations to working mainly for myself. Truthfully, I never thought I could go back. However, recently, I've discovered that my little studio has limited capacity for the demands that are being placed on it. My prenatal class has become a victim of it's own success and I'm now having to turn more people away that I can actually take. This makes me very frustrated as I'm not a person who likes to say "no." So to remedy this situation I'm having to look at other venue options including working for someone else.

In the months to come, I'm hoping to find a partner organization that can host this class and still allow me to teach it. What this will likely mean is that the class will be held at a different site that can hold more students and I will no longer be handling the registration, (something I've never been good at.) I even see the opportunity of more such classes in the future as there seems to be a great need for them. They just might not be held here in the studio.

I think this situation has taught me that life is never either/or but rather fluid. We are always reinventing ourselves and adapting to the current demands placed on us. This is how our bodies grow and how our minds grow. If we don't grow we die. Instead of getting angry at being stuck in traffic we can use the time to breath, meditate and pray. A good friend's departure could mean an opportunity to connect with new people. A spouse's new job might mean being more intentional about scheduling time together. A rainy day might mean time to finish a partially-read book. The more mentally flexible we are the less stress we have to manage.

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