Healthy, Happy, & Wise

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized


Published on December 15, 2010 with No Comments

By Cynthia Smith~Faught

Winter calls us to move deeper within and to find a gentler rhythm that allows for peaceful reflection: Tis the season to be peaceful. But so often our world reflects a different experience and can appear to be the season of too much stress and excess. Then there is the pressure to spend and participate in so many activities in just a few short weeks. How do we manage? I find that practicing peace is essential when what is around me – or I – do not feel so peaceful.

I developed a yoga program many years ago called “Practicing Peace” because I realize that even in all of my desire to be a peaceful and unconditionally loving person, it is not always easy. What I also realize is that I need to practice often so I can feel this way more readily in day to day life. Our yoga practice is like any other discipline, we need to practice.

Some of us have a disposition to be more peaceful naturally; others, like myself, need to work on it a bit more. I have a strong fighter/warrior instinct inside of me from early childhood conditioning. I grew up with mostly boys and I was the runt in the family so of course I learned how to survive as a “warrior-ess.”

Today I am grateful for my “warrior-ess” abilities, but I am also grateful for the feeling of peace. Peaceful warrior is a pose that represents strength, fierceness, confidence, and a feeling of peace all at once.

During this holiday season find some space to practice being at peace with two different poses this month.

Lets get started;

Our first pose is a meditative practice;

Start in a sit position, in a chair or on the floor in a comfortable sit posture, (make sure to lift the spine with the shoulders drawn back). Let the hands rest palms up onto the knees. Connect each finger starting with the index (pointer) to the thumb and repeat over and over until you get a rhythm and synchronize the movement of the fingers on both hands. With each connection of the fingers, say the words “I am at Peace”…Index finger “I”….Middle finger “am”…..ring finger “at”…….little finger “peace”….and repeat over and over and over again.

Continue the connections as you say this phrase softly to yourself with the eyes closed. Let the heart feel open and put a smile on your face. Soon you will feel the essence of peace throughout your whole body. And the next time you are faced with a stressful situation, recall this feeling.

Our second pose is Peaceful Warrior;

Start in a standing position your hands on the hips, for balance and support then bring one leg back to a fairly wide stance so that your front knee is bent and you are in a lunge position. The back foot should be flat on the ground and your hips and torso are facing front toward your bent knee.

Once you feel that your feet have equal weight distribution and you are balanced lift the arms overhead extending long keeping them close to the ears but keep the shoulders drawn down away from the ears and not shrugging up. Spread the fingers wide and lift your torso out of the hips. Open the heart to the sky as you arch gently back and feel the head lift strong through neck, be careful not to let it fall back. Feel your strength, fierceness, and confidence from within and invite peace into your heart.

Peace be in you and have a happy and safe new year.

Release: This column is a guide only for the general population, not all practice is good for everybody, please consult with your health practitioner before engaging in physical movement and positions. Having a physical presence with a teacher is always best but these instructions can offer a guide to the basic practice of yoga and the poses.

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