Last week’s theme discussed the Kleshas of Raga (attachment) and Dvesah (avoidance), which distract us from understanding the source of these feelings. Like the ivy growing, it hides what is happening deep within us. But facing up to our habitual unhelpful patterns can take a lot of courage and patience...which is why we are reminded to be very kind and gentle to ourselves. A calm and clear mind is needed.
We explore in yoga the interweaving of body, mind and spirit. We can impact mind and spirit through the body. We know we can help do this with our breath. But we can do it in other ways too. So this week, we explore in our practice bringing a gentle inner smile to the face. Just by altering our facial expression a little, we can invite a sense of calm in the mind, a lifting of our spirits and a softening of our resistance. This gets especially challenging to remember when we get into more strenuous asanas, but this is where it really pays dividends and helps to avoid tension creeping into the body and mind. So go on and give us a smile!
Ruth teaches yoga in Cheltenham UK, weaving yoga philosophy into the asana practice to help students connect yoga on the mat to their lives off the mat.