One of my “new” (very fast) running friends invited me to her yoga class today, which was celebrating the spring equinox with 108 sun salutations.  My plan was to close my eyes, stay in the back of the room, focus on my breathing and try to survive.  However, during the course of the 108, 4 random topics came to my mind:

Differences: Why is it that we just can’t accept differences in people?  The list of major tragedies in our history caused by fear of diversity: slavery, the Holocaust, The Crusades, the genocide of the American Indian – is unbelievable. People died because they were different in their appearance and beliefs. They still die because of differences.  What can we do to avoid being judgmental?  We can try and understand people who think differently than us. We can agree to disagree.  Can you imagine a world where everyone in every continent got along?  Think about it for one second. I believe that understanding and accepting people from all walks of life is key to finding peace in our own lives.

Avoidance: We all avoid situations that appear stressful, uncontrolled, or scary.  But the truth is avoidance is one of the top contributing factors to anxiety and stress.  So while trying to avoid a problem or issue in our lives may temporarily decrease our anxiety, it really serves to increase it.  I’m the queen of avoidance.  I can avoid phone calls and conversations that feel steeped with conflict or will cause me to face my own s***.    From salutation 45-54, I realized that my fear is created by me.  And, if I’d just face myself, I’d see that there’s nothing there but me.  Who could be afraid of me? 🙂

Breathing: Think about when your kids were sleeping and you would feel their warm breath on your neck.  I think of my breath as a way to give energy and take it in.  One breath per move became so easy that I completely forgot to count.  When you lay in bed tonight just listen to your breath. It’s beautiful.

Thankfulness: I made sure I said “thank you” to my body at the start of each sun salutation. Why? Because I never really thank my body for what it gives me each day.  I complain about certain parts of it.  I forget that my legs allow me to run and my skinny arms allow me to hug.  Sometimes I’m totally ungrateful for the physical me.  So, each “thank you” was for you and me.  An appreciation for what we have, physically, emotionally and materially.  There’s always something else to have, but if we’re thankful for what we have right now, we’ll end up having more.  If we concentrate on what we don’t have, we’ll never have enough.

And with that, I ever so quietly finished my 108 salutations.  Thank you to my partners today.  And thanks to all of you for loving me and my words. You inspire me.

Welcome to spring. XOXO