Staying Grounded In A Crazy World

by Amish Shah January 30, 2016

This article first appeared in and is written by Autumn Bolin McKelvey

The world isn’t short on events that make us worry. Sometimes, when it all feels too overwhelming, l’ll admit I fantasize about shutting myself off from society and retreating to a cave to find my inner zen.

But since when is avoiding reality considered the path toward empowerment?

When I find myself visualizing a lifestyle where I never have to leave my home, I am reminded that it’s not sticking our heads in the sand that makes us feel secure, but adopting practices that can help us feel steady throughout life’s turbulence.

When we feel overwhelmed, we can turn to our yoga practice and be comforted by the stability it offers. These three basic yogic principles are about taking yoga off the mat and into our daily lives — where it really matters.

1. Physical practice

We know the benefits of the asanas in strengthening our muscular and skeletal systems and more, but the benefits of a physical yoga practice affect the subtle body as well.

When we engage in core work like Boat Pose (Navasana), we not only strengthen our abdominal muscles, but we also activate the Solar Plexus Chakra, the place of personal power and confidence. When we feel unsteady, uncertain or indecisive, we can engage in a little extra core work for a physical and mental boost.

We can’t heal the world by doing crunches, but we can enhance our personal power and strength so that we have the stamina to actively participate in all aspects of our lives.

2. Breathing

Breath is the true gem of yoga, and for countless good reasons. This is the system of our body that is both voluntary and involuntary — giving it an almost mystical-like quality in the eyes of ancient practitioners. From a scientific standpoint, the power of the breath helps a person navigate the major branches of the autonomic nervous system: sympathetic and parasympathetic.

By controlling our breath, our prana, we are challenging and positively affecting our system’s reactions. We learn to self-regulate. By taking deep diaphragmatic breaths in a moment of anxiety, we activate the parasympathetic system that tells our mind, “All is well.” This activation takes us out of the fight-or-flight reaction of the stimulating sympathetic system.

By working with our breath, we learn to calm our minds and from here, we feel internal peace and equanimity in the face of external chaos.

3. Meditation

Doctors and yogis alike recommend meditation as medication — it helps to strengthen our awareness and build a sense of calm. But how many of us actually set time aside every day to meditate? Thankfully there are countless ways to practice awareness, the fundamental aspect of meditation, in daily activities and events.

For instance, when lying in bed at night we can focus our attention on our pulse in each fingertip. This engages the Dharana (the sixth limb of yoga), which is our concentration. If the mind is concentrated on perceiving a pulse in the pinkie fingertip, then that mind is fully present. A big part of our ability to feel safe and peaceful, is the knowledge that there is always the safe haven of our present mind that we can rely upon to go to.

So instead of simply abstaining from the news, we can participate mindfully and presently in the events of our lives, and take comfort in knowing that yoga can help us feel grounded. When we can find a way to access that inner peace, it inevitably will expand. What a wonderful, unpredictable world.

From preschoolers to the elderly, Autumn Bolin McKelvey, MA, E-RYT, has led thousands through her various classes, workshops, seminars, and trainings, and she finds that in learning and teaching — be it yoga or writing — attitude, even more than technical skill, is everything.

The post Staying Grounded In A Crazy World appeared first on Project Yourself.

Amish Shah
Amish Shah


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Project Yourself

7 Keys To Mind Power At Any Age
7 Keys To Mind Power At Any Age

by Puja Shah February 20, 2017

As parents, we all wonder how to be sure our kids are receiving the best education possible. And part of this is being sure their lifestyle and home-life support their learning. So, how can you make sure your child is getting the most out of his or her hours spent in school? One way is
Read more

View full article →

10 Reasons Why You Should Love Ginger
10 Reasons Why You Should Love Ginger

by Puja Shah January 19, 2017

Ginger is one of the healthiest (and most delicious) super foods on the planet. It is loaded with nutrients and bio active compounds that have powerful benefits for your whole body and even your brain. Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardamom and galangal. The rhizome (which is the

View full article →

7 Tips For A Long Distance Relationship
7 Tips For A Long Distance Relationship

by Puja Shah January 19, 2017

Being a long distance relationship can be taxing. It’s hard to maintain when two people are in the same place already, so the distance adds a whole other dimension to the relationship.  But don’t let the miles bog you down- try to focus on the the little things you can do now so you can
Read more

The post 7 Tips For A Long Distance Relationship appeared first on Project Yourself.

View full article →



Sold Out