Lessons From The Mat: Being Expansive

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 12.47.08 PMOver the last few weeks, I’ve been chatting about the idea of renewal and expansion with my yoga classes. How we can expand in our practice– maybe breathe a little deeper, reach a little higher, give a little more– and also (as always with yoga) how we can take that off the mat and put it into practice in our lives.

Sometimes we get narrow– especially when we get uncomfortable or face something difficult. We get anxious, and our mind seems to only focus in on the problem in front of us. Whether that’s in life, or while encountering discomfort in a particular pose, we let that situation overtake us, and can’t seem to see anything beyond that. But what if we could expand beyond the discomfort in these moments? What if we could see whatever that encounter is as trivial or temporary, and look past it, not letting it take us over?

Perspective is such a huge part of being happy. Think about it. What are you focusing on today? Believe me, there are plenty of days I have to remind myself to not get caught up in the negative. Inevitably the “what ifs” and “should have beens” creep into my own mind as well,  and I have to (as Taylor Swift so aptly sings) shake em off. Just last night I lay in bed thinking about what could be different, how I might be happier, and about the things my life is missing. Sometimes we just can’t help but go there, but how detrimental this is!! Thank God it’s a conscious choice to let it go, and go beyond this type of thinking. This morning, I looked around me and was reminded of how incredibly blessed I am am. How full and abundant my life is, regardless of it’s imperfection, and how much I have to be thankful for.

No, life is not perfect. It never will be. And we can always find things to want, things that are missing or things could simply be better. But focusing on all that we do have can flip a switch in us– literally turn darkness into light. Seeing (and focusing on) the abundance that IS there, will only bring happiness and, in turn, more abundance.

A common psychology tool for those who are depressed, is to have them to look up, above the buildings or trees, and into the sky and above the horizon– to see beyond what’s right in front of their feet, or in they’re immediate line of vision. Sometimes when life is hard, we need to remember this. Even when it’s not, how much sweeter is life when we look upward and realize how much possibility exists beyond what we can see?

So today, I hope we can all be more expansive. Reach a little higher, breathe a little deeper and turn our faces to the sky and feel the warmth of the sun. Today, look above the building tops or out into the horizon, and realize how much goodness and possibility exists, and how many more good things are to come.

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