Monday, July 29, 2013

Upside Down Is Right Side Up

Ah! The sweet sounds of summer and packed classes at the gym with all the students out of school heading to the gym for fun, fitness and socializing.  The energy in the room is exciting. As we wait outside the group exercise room for the class before us to end, people are lined up along the ramp and railing for yoga.  There are some timid people trying class for the first time and I approach them, offer them a yoga mat, answer any questions they have and encourage them to be easy on themselves and enjoy the experience.  Others are energized and excitedly talking to their friends (must have been a great day!).  When the doors finally open and we are allowed inside for our class, long time members make their way to their favorite usual spots while the student groups huddle in various areas of the room. 

They look and feel like a frisky bunch so I challenge them with extra push-ups and flowing sequences.  I decide that upside down poses will be the best way to go with this group and we work with handstands, and headstands. Some of the acrobatic yogis are upside down in the middle of the room while others are timidly trying to balance up against the wall. All is good.

A few days later it was a quieter crowd. There is usually quite a difference between the night crowd and the Saturday morning group.  They've just woken up and crawled to class or had time for coffee and the paper - but are still not at their peak.  So we move slowly through some warm-ups but I decide things need to change.  I have them partnering with other people in the room and show them how they can do a handstand on top of another person. I move about the room helping partners who are working with the challenge. One woman was up for trying but seemed a bit nervous.  I gave her some simple instructions and stayed right next to her, helping her get her feet on the upside down person that would serve as the base.  She made it and squealed with delight as her feet went up in the air. When she came down she was almost jumping up and down with excitement. She had never tried anything like that in her life.  That is why I love my job.  You could hear the energy level in the room rising as more and more people enjoyed our adult playground.  The energy was definitely up as they left to go about their day. 

"Thank you for letting me play with you", I said as I ended class.

How is your energy?  What does it need?

First - we need to be present and aware of how we are feeling. Then we need to decide what kind of change we would like to make - where do we want to go and how are we going to get there? Are we tired and need perking up or are we stressed and need calming down?  Be your own observer and make the energy change to get yourself in the place you want to be in.  You may find that turning yourself upside down is just the thing to make things right side up!