I think it’s safe to say that we all fall in love a little bit everyday. Be it with your partner, your crush, even a person in passing that energetically makes your heart go pitter pat. Whatever the case may be, when you meet someone that makes you beam, you must take note. Such was the case when I had my first yoga class with Duncan Parviainen. Call it a yoga crush at the highest level of om, if you will. And perhaps why it resonated with me, above other moments of platonic amour, is because meeting Duncan made me fall in love not just with him, but with my yoga practice as well. He is as inspiring and empowering as they come, and he can certainly help you get your sweat on. So from my yoga guru, my darling Duncan, here are some tips to help you rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit. Oh, and be prepared to fall just a wee bit in love.
Can you let yourself be sensitive?
It’s often so easy in our culture and society to put up walls, to let ourselves harden in order to protect ourselves from the intensity of our day to day lives. The question becomes, “Why even bother being sensitive?” Well, let me give you an answer that might be a little different: to connect with magic.
After yoga class one day, Meghan and I discussed our love for the book Big Magic written by Elizabeth Gilbert, and our particular fascination with the word “eudaemonia,” which means to be ‘well-demoned,’ or to be well-guided by divine spirits. Gilbert discusses how some people might call this being ‘in the flow’ or ‘the zone’ and how several well-known artists and intellectuals felt as if their work, creativity, or inspiration came through them rather than from them. I’ve often felt this way after a yoga class: I’ll have new ideas that suddenly ‘pop’ into my head, or I will have a new inspiration for writing that came out of nowhere, or I’ll gain a new perspective on a troubling issue, or I will suddenly know the answer to a difficult question, or what color to paint my bedroom (a light shade of grey, in case you were wondering). To me – it’s like magic!
Now, in my experience, it’s tough to connect to that state of being ‘in the flow’ when you are tense, tight, tired, and/or burnt out, so that’s why I do yoga! Yoga keeps me flexible so that I can go with the flow, and helps me shed the layers of tension that build up mentally and physically each day.
Here is a mini sequence of 6 of my favorite yoga postures that I like to do to stay strong, limber and chill so that I can be more sensitive to that pulse of magic.
- Warrior 2
- Downward Facing Dog
- Thread the Needle
- Supine Twist
- Corpse Pose
Take 5 deep breaths on each side. This is a posture that works the legs, and as a result can be very grounding physically. Focus your eyes on one spot beyond your front middle finger.
Take 10 deep and steady breaths here. Try to keep your eyes open and focus them on one spot right between your feet – it will help ground your mind.
Hold for 10 deep steady breaths. Keep knees hip width and feet parallel. This is a great pose to help reverse bad posture.
Hold for 6 deep steady breaths on each side. Let’s open them hips – crucial if you spend most of your day sitting!
Take 10 deep breaths on each side. A lot of us hold a lot of tension in our back so this is pose is super yummy for the spine.
Lie flat on your back on the ground. Stay as long as you like. To me, nothing can compare to lying flat on the ground with all your limps supported – the ultimate symbol of letting go.