For many of us, a new year represents a blank slate, a Tabula Rasa. Imagine being able to “refresh” any or all areas of your life. Now visualize this table with two columns, Yes and No. You create your truest life by thoughtfully choosing what goes in the No column and what is a Yes. Everything you say YES to and everything you say NO to matters. What if your yes’s and no’s were tabulated and at the end of a day, week, year, lifetime, you could see how the data, otherwise known as your life, balanced out?
Think of it like playing a game. Each morning, start with a wide-open YES in your heart and make room on the table. As you go through your day making decisions, interacting with others and living your life, be aware of what you say No to and what Yes is automatically created out of that No. Conversely, what do you say Yes to and what is the No side of that decision? Before you go to sleep, check in with yourself and see if you feel balanced. You already posses the winning pieces of confidence, clarity, and integrity, so use them as you play.
No Table Yes is a pose we use to teach kids these concepts to kids. It is on the fourth floor, Balance Beam, of our Elevator Series. This floor represents the heart chakra. Balance begins with centering and softening the heart. Winning pieces in the game of life are cultivated in the heart. Courage and determination can’t be found in a textbook. Compassion and connection grow from the inside and only then can be expressed outwardly. When our heart chakra is open, these qualities can inform our mind and through our Yes’s and No’s, we create and live our truest life.
Prepare to find freedom within boundaries. Say yes to life by breathng fully and expansively. Exhale and come on to your hands and knees shoulder width apart. Ground your clawed hands and your left shin to the earth. Inhale and curve your spine, bringing your right knee and forehead together. Hug into your basement. Say “No!” to your fears, doubts and old habits that are not serving you well. Exhale “Yes!” to something new as you stretch your head up and lift your right leg straight behind you. Keep your hips level. Inhale an bring your knee to forhead. “No!” Create boundaries. Establish confidence in what you believe. Keep the sides of your neck long. Exhale “Yes!” as you kick back. Feel free and expansive. Open to your possibiities. Your spine arches and curves as you continue with the right leg three more times. Try it fast, slow, soft and loud. Repeat five times with your left leg.
Have you ever head the term “The Ground Truth”? Spies say it when they want to know what really went down, no cover-ups and no interpretations. Apparently in life or death spy situations it’s important to know the ground truth in order to move forward in the mission. In NASA, the ground truth is part of the calibration process where a person on the ground makes a measurement of the same thing the satellite is trying to measure at the same time. The two answers are then compared to help evaluate how well the satellite instrument is performing.
Both definitions relate to yoga in that we aim to be transparent and finely tuned. John Friend explains that “In practicing and teaching Anusara yoga, the intention is to align with the flow of Grace, to awaken to the truth that our essential nature is part of this divine flow, and to lovingly and joyfully serve this flow.” In Grounded, we teach kids how to recognize this Ground Truth about themselves and each other so that knowing they are divine, tapping into their authenticity and serving the world from that sincere place is just a way of life. By the time we are adults, many of us are afraid to own our light, let alone shine it as bright as we can and finding our personal ground truth is hard work.
It’s easier to just not see things about ourselves (did my words crush your spirit?) or the world (genocide didn’t end with the Holocaust) or those we pass on the street (we are connected). Too often we only reveal whatis already protected and only open up to what we’ve prepared to handle. Awareness is only the first step. Upholding the truth takes warrior like courage and dedication.
The ground truth is that we all have tremendous power AND the responsibility to uplift one another with our words, influence politics and create peacethrough our actions and connect in a soulful way with strangers.
To set intentions for the New Year join us in listing the truths you’re willing to be a warrior for. What do you already know for sure and what ground truths will you seek in 2012? To state the obvious, finding the ground truth begins with being grounded. As the spies would say, this is your mission should you choose to accept it.
Prepare your body and mind for this mission with the Grounded pose, Warrior III with Intention. From Straight Leg Lunge inhale and stretch your arms forward. Stay parallel to the floor with your palms together. Interlace your fingers, extending your pointer fingers for the Intention Mudra. Exhale and lift your back leg as you shift your weight forward, both legs straight and strong. Inhale and hug into your midline, the center of the body where your core truth exists. Exhale and extend from your core in all directions so that your intention is powered by truth. Release back to Straight Leg Lunge. Jump switch and repeat on the other side.