Be Well, Be Happy, Be Limber

Be Well Be Happy

“Notice that the stiffest tree is more easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” - Susi Hately, “Anatomy and Asana.” Through gentle stretching and yoga practice, the body becomes more limber, allowing for a feeling of physical openness and increased balance. Being limber could be a protection against sudden harm just like the bamboo or willow resists the break, not by being rigid, but by yielding to the outer force. Imagine the body as a complex array of fluids within the tissues, organs, etc., and as you move there is an inner free-flowing motion yielding. When the body is compromised by some physical trauma, it becomes rigid and imbalanced, and it is difficult to maintain the fluidity, to stay limber.  Once the peak of the trauma experience occurs, we adjust to getting the body back in sync and limber. 

Being like the bamboo or willow also applies to our minds and hearts.  Sometimes when we are rigid in our thinking, we cannot obtain understanding, we cannot connect with someone else, we are just sitting on top of that thought, guarding it and closing off.  In the end, we may come to the same thinking, but first opening the mind to all possibilities and points of view, is healthy and wise.  You did not reach that thought because of what someone else put there in your head, but because you “thought” about it.  And like the limber body, your mind meanders through all the possibilities and the outcomes.

The heart space is one we associate with our emotional landscape. Some deep-rooted negative feelings may seem impossible to change.  As we imagine our physical body as a moving body of fluidity, so we can also imagine our heart space.  Not a block but an open, fluid, changeable entity.  And, within that space, anything is possible. The grudge from how many years ago: Gone. The envy lately because of someone else’s fortune: Gone. The betrayal, the hurt, the grief, the sadness, the… Gone! We could only hope! Through conscious effort and deep intention, these can be softened, maybe eliminated and replaced with all good things: best wishes, love, generosity, kindness – a resilience to rise to the occasion of life. We only have one. 

The ebb and flow of bending and not bending, moving and being rigid, opening up and closing off, all happen in our lives. It just is. With greater awareness and reflection, we are able to minimize to some extent the rigidity and open up to a fluid, ever-changing, whole existence.  Adapting a holistic approach in this way – meaning an approach that acknowledges that all aspects of our beings are interconnected – creates the foundation for happiness.

Body, mind and heart all perform together the miracle of life.  We direct the performance.

May you be happy.  May you be free. May you be grateful for what you have and don’t have. May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace.

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