Day in, day out, our mood fluctuates drastically, abruptly, splendidly at times, and unnervingly at others. Just as much as life is joyous, life can be filled with stresses and strains. Yoga originated with these fluctuations, and it is one of humanity’s greatest attempts to celebrate the roller coaster that is life.
October 10th is World Mental Health Day, and in honor of your and my mental health, I’d like to share a specific yoga practice for boosting our moods. Lucky for us, this yoga lesson doesn’t require any hard thinking, nor will it take physical exertion on your part. In fact, to learn this yoga lesson, you’ll need to relax your mind and body, that way you can feel what yoga calls the rhythm of nature inside you. Soon you’ll remember that feeling nature’s rhythm within is like a keepsake for any and every time you need a mood boost.
Belly Rise and Fall
Most of the day, life obligations prohibit us from living in rhythm with nature. These obligation rhythms put stress and strain on our heart. Conversely, nature’s rhythm makes our heart flourish, and yoga says the trick to feeling it is to catch your attention in your head and to move it down to your belly.
To get in touch with the latent power in your belly, lie down in a comfortable place. Wiggle and bounce your body until you feel all of your stresses and strains, concerns and obligations draining through the belly. Keep draining until you feel empty.
Now, place both hands on your belly. It’s time to pump up your buoyancy. Feel the belly rise and fall, rise and fall, rise and fall. The belly needs room for the buoyancy it’s pumping up, so loosen all latent concerns off your lips, lighten your gaze, and breathe with ease.
The belly rises and falls, rises and falls. Each breath pumps another wave of soothing sensation to your heart.
The belly is nature’s rhythm. It’s always at hand. Now that you’ve learned this lesson, at any place, at any time, in any position, place your hands on your belly and remember this is how to boost your mood!
Charlie Higgins is a graduate of Reed College and a certified yoga instructor. Charlie specializes in yoga for retirees, and his classes focus on range-of-motion, peripheral awareness, balance and breathing. As a guest author for Milestone Retirement, Charlie is excited to share fun, safe and easy tips for senior health & wellness. To learn more, or explore more exercises by Charlie, visit his website:www.samdhyayoga.com.