How are you handling conflict and challenges these days? Is there adequate space in your reaction time or has the stress of the last year amplified to a point where you aren’t quite as patient and kind as you could be? If you’ve experienced more fear and edginess and anger, you aren’t alone. This week, we’re focusing on cultivating your own unique sense of grace and strength in your yoga practice.
The word grace derives from Old French and means “pleasing quality” or simply a pleasing way of moving or behaving. A graceful person is one with poise, decency, honor, and elegance. Sometimes if you’re being pushed to your limits by the events of the world and personal circumstances, it can be difficult to react gracefully. Developing grace under pressure is one of the greatest gifts yoga can impart.
Yoga encourages us to become aware of how we are feeling by creating stillness within. During challenging times in life, it can be easy to slip back into a fight or flight mode and react to what’s happening around you instead of reacting from a place of quiet strength. So, through asana, pranayama, and meditation, we tap into our inner strength and true natures. By turning our senses inward, we recognize our authentic selves and can work to refine our outward expression.
Yoga helps us react with more grace and poise in every aspect of our lives. For example, you hear about the concept of “letting go” often in yoga class. Whether you’re letting go of tension in your muscles, freeing yourself from repetitive negative thoughts, or releasing emotions that no longer serve you, you are clearing space for more inner strength. An example of grace in action would be choosing to forgive a past wrong committed against you. When you forgive, you’re able to move on.
When we feel lighter within, we are also more mindful. Mindfulness translates to a strong yoga practice because we’re embodying grace through asana and breathwork. The more disciplined and present we are on the yoga mat, the more we hone our poise and elegant expression.
Every person's embodiment of grace will be unique and yoga can help you discover your own graceful qualities. Explore these fantastic yoga classes for movement and inspiration.
1. Shannon Paige - Strength for Grace
2. Christen Bakken - The Next Right Thing
3. Mark Morford - Absolution Flow: A Call to Arms
4. Pradeep Teotia - Practice with Grace
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