One of the best ideas Barb has shared in our teacher training is this idea of creating balance by finding softness in every pose. We engage muscles and set our focus, and also look to relax, find space and soften something, whether that means smiling, slowing down our breath or simply working on our state of mind. This bit of advice has served me rather well, especially this weekend.
Life is filled with plenty of sources of tension and pressure, sometimes associated with problems and others with things we very much want and welcome despite the accompanying stress. At least that’s absolutely true for me. As night falls, my mind is often racing and I’m still reeling from the day, brow furrowed and shoulders slightly hunched as I review everything that’s happened and compile tomorrow’s to-do list.
Saturday nights are no different by the way. Last night as I curled up on the sofa ready to hide under a blanket and see if I could mentally scream away the stream of thoughts flooding my mind, I realized I was a human knot. I think I was even clenching my teeth. So I stretched out and took a slow deep breath, and what do you know! Barb‘s voice sang softly in my mind, soften something. So I took a couple more breaths with Barb still whispering in the background, and within minutes completely fell asleep.
My husband came later (I have no idea how much later) and guided me to bed. Half asleep, my worry habit activated. Oh crap, don’t open your eyes. Ouch! Shit! OK, open them a little. But not too much or you’ll wake up and then you’ll take forever to get back to sleep. Wait. No you won’t. Don’t think that! Be positive. You’ll sleep. Stay asleep. Shh shh shh.
I made it under the covers and as my head hit the pillow, I repeated like a mantra soften something, soften something, soften some—…
And it worked. Thank you, Barb. I’m adopting this practice forever and making it a part of every class I ever teach.