Ever wonder how your yoga can help you out of a tough situation? You know, those times when life gets a little overwhelming, when motivation flies out the window and the unbearable mental, physical and emotional “heaviness of being” set's in?
Since the first time I stepped on a mat, I've been fascinated by the idea of yoga as a tool for transforming ordinary life into something more inspired, connected and fabulous. Ayurveda helped fill the gaps in my understanding of how what I practice on the mat, impacts what I think, feel, and choose everywhere else.
It provided a foundation for creating mind-body balance based on a few simple shifts in mindset and an even simpler, but empowering mantra: Move a muscle, change a feeling.
SO much is possible with just a little bit of awareness about yourself and a pinch of knowledge about how subtle changes in the way you think and move can transform your everyday yoga practice into a mood enhancing, life-balancing, fabulous adventure...every time. So what can you do when life weighs you down?
Kapha and You
Let's start with getting back to my first question, what is YOUR experience of heaviness? Is it grounding, cozy, safe and stable? Or maybe foggy, lethargic, oppressive and stuck. However you're “wearing” heaviness, the Ayurvedic view is that it's your unique expression of kapha energy.
Kapha energy is cold, moist, dull and stable. It can slow you down (when you need it and when you don't) and have you feeling just about anything on the spectrum from devotion to depressed, compassionate to congested, sensuous to stuck. If you can find the right balance, your kapha energy will ground and connect you to your stamina, and your humanity.
So if you're feeling stuck somewhere in your mind, body or life, and are ready to shift some of that heavy energy, and move your groove over to the sunny side of the street, you'll wanna check out...
The Kapha Sun Salutations
The kapha balancing mantra is warming, energizing, stimulating. So this salutation is aimed at heating things up, and melting resistance, complacency and congestion. To do that, it takes the pace up a little and adds in a taste of energizing flare.
It moves you with a mind to helping you shift what needs to be shifted. And if you play your cards right, it just might light the internal fire that'll burn through whatever holds you back!
How to do it
It all starts with intention, so taking to your mat in the spirit of lightening up can make all the difference. Before you start, take a moment to turn on the ujjayi breathing (a.k.a. the internal furnace) and keep it going throughout.
As you practice and whenever possible, keep your gaze lifted as a reminder of the lightness that you're looking to experience in each movement, and as you transition from one pose to the next, consciously let go of anything that might be weighing you down!
Check out this video and follow along!
The Tip That Could Tip the Balance in Your Favor
It's not often talked about, but one of the most common ways that we get stuck, and stay there, is by refusing to express ourselves in all the many and beautiful ways that we can. Yes, you read that right, we accumulate excess kapha energy when we hold back and deny our authentic selves.
One of the best and fastest ways of launching ourselves toward health and happiness is to let go of our fears of failure and judgment, and our attachment to being right, and just simply allow ourselves to shine.
So please remember that, as you take this version of the sun salutations out for a spin, because just like the sun that we honor from our mats, you were born to share your light, and if you can truly own that, you'll be unstoppable!