shouldering burdens

I made it back to one of my favorite teacher’s yoga class yesterday (my work schedule is so ridiculous, that this is like the best thing that’s happened to me…getting off on a Saturday morning!). I was already pretty sore from my yoga session Friday, but I wanted to go, because Amy really incorporates the spiritual aspect of yoga into her vinyasa flows and I absolutely love it.

Friday, we did a ton of shoulder/upper arm asanas, and focused more on that. To my somewhat displeasure, we again, did a lot of shoulder/upper arm asanas today as well. It seriously was really difficult to get through. But, somehow or another, I did. And it was awesome.

But, this isn’t the point of this post. We started off class just standing in mountain pose and practicing some intentional breathing. The instructor started talking about intention, and what brought us to class that day. She continued to talk about a book she is reading about how mental symptoms manifest into physical symptoms. She was focusing in on the shoulders and how we carry all of our burdens in our shoulders. You can almost tell when someone is overwhelmed by their burdens, or whose ever burdens he/she is carrying, by how their shoulders are at a resting state–they are almost always rolled forward. This unintentionally brings a slouch to your back.

I never really thought of this before. I began to think about it as she was talking about shoulders rolled forward, and I realized that mine were definitely rolled forward. Go ahead and see for yourself. Are your shoulders rolled forward? If they are, roll them back. See what happens. I immediately rolled them back, which automatically opened my chest up and lifted my chin. Amazing. Something as simple as that brought a little bit more physical confidence in my appearance. Incredible.

The book that she was reading is called You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. In the book, the author has different mantras that you say for different physical symptoms. Amy began to read the mantra for shoulders as we were huffing and puffing practicing our intentional breathing and ujayi breathing. She began to tell us that in the book that when people have rolled shoulders it means they feel like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. I thought, there are definitely times when I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. I consistently want to please everyone around me, I willingly bring that pressure upon myself. Does this happen to you guys ever?

Louise Hay’s mantra for the shoulders was kind of long, but I found this one line excerpt from it. “I choose to allow all of my experiences to be joyous and loving.” I think this is a very powerful affirmation to tell yourself on a regular basis. I don’t think we realize that when we don’t take even 2 minutes to focus on our own mental and physical health, how it begins to show physically. I choose to allow all of my experiences to be joyous and loving. There is no one out there in this world, in my life, that is telling me, “Nishita, you must be miserable and stressed and overwhelmed all the time.” No one. I’ve created this reality in my head that tells me I should be in a constant state of frenzy. I choose to allow all of my experiences to be joyous and loving. 

It’s hard to admit to yourself that the way you feel isn’t because of anyone else except yourself. But, I think once we realize this we can begin make our lives a little bit less miserable, and a lot more exciting and joyous.

This week, I’m going to think about my intention in every thing I do, the same way Amy makes me think about my intention every time I walk into her class. What’s your intention going to be this week? I am choosing to allow all of my experiences to be joyous and loving!

ps. This book is definitely on my list of books to read now. Have any of you read it?

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