Be Well Be Happy

Summer always seems to come upon us quickly and before you know it, Fourth of July is here.  The beginning of the summer is busy:  making plans for all sorts of activities, celebrations, reunions, get-togethers.  That has all been done!  Now is the time to rest. When I first started dealing with Italy for business and then visiting, on holiday, I loved the fact that everything closed in August!  It is changing now, but one whole month was devoted to rest, relaxation and holiday. I think it is so great to have that embedded in a culture.

At our yoga studio, the pose of the month is “savasana” (corpse pose).  It usually comes at the end of a yoga class.  The form or shape of the pose is lying on the mat, legs apart, arms to the side, palms facing up.  It is a relaxation pose. The body surrenders to the mat, the mind is empty, the breath is steady. Let’s imagine August as a month-long “savasana!”  Relaxation of the body, ease in the mind, softness in the heart.  When we relax and clear the mind, often answers come, often new ideas arise. Creating space to solve problems or think of something in a different way or come up with the plan to create something – all can happen by allowing the mind, body and heart to stop and rest.

After this period, something new begins. Every time we come out of “savasana” in yoga class, it is a new beginning.  We can look at August as the springboard for the new beginning in the fall and the hustle and bustle of school, new work projects, holiday planning, etc. etc. etc. Busy-ness.

I love the summer because the warmth of the sun in summer position helps me to slow down and take in nature around me. I focus in on the worlds of insects, plants and birds, looking at details, noting behaviors or formations and patterns.  Just for the experience of it all. Doing that allows my mind to quiet and that’s when I can take a look at my life, my family, friends, and “see” things.  Maybe come to realizations, understand something, be more compassionate, whatever arises. Sometimes big changes need to happen and if we don’t give ourselves time to rest, stop and allow whatever it is to arise, the changes will never happen. Then, we’ll wake up one day and say, “What happened?  All that time passed? I’m still doing that or I still have that habit?” Taking the time coupled with knowing that the heart can initiate the change we want to happen, and the mind – with the power it has (reference my last column) – can be asked to make it happen. 

Taking this long “savasana” makes space to realize a clear intent for moving forward in life – for the new beginning, the inspiration to discover who we are rather than what we do or what we have.  Trusting in the universe that there is meaning to connecting to our inner selves and then to every sentient being. Seeing the similarities, not the differences at first. Connecting and accepting. 

May you be happy.  May you be free.  May you be grateful.  May you let go of things that do not serve you.  May you have inner peace. 

By Paulette Mancuga

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