Are you resilient?
Physics defines resilience as the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress.
How does this apply to life? Why is this a quality to cultivate? How can yoga help?
When I am facing the stresses of life, I feel like I have a strained body and I may also be dealing with a strained mind and spirit. I sometimes feel that the stresses are a compressive force that creates a sense of contraction within the physical body, a feeling of deformity in thoughts, and depending on the magnitude of the stress, a diminishing of spirit.
Some of you may be thinking, “But you are a swami! How can you be so affected?” Yes, I am a swami, but I am living out in the world, running a business, maintaining a household and interacting with all sorts of people. I am experiencing the usual struggles and challenges that life presents to all of us.
The advantage I have is resilience! And that resilience comes from my yoga practice. Even in my darkest moments, I know deep within that this is just the play of duality and that the light will shine again. I use my yoga practices to recover, to stretch my body to its full expanse releasing my physical contraction against the world. I breathe and breathe, increasing my energy stores to support my recovery. I do yoga nidra to calm my mind and to rest deeply. I do my mantras, and more mantras, to connect with a higher source of spirit. That source always willing to reestablish the connection that I may have temporarily turned from in my darkness. The source that shines the light I have been missing.
But I am tough. I bounce back from my difficulties. I have been cultivating resilience for a long time. It is one of my best qualities.
You can have resilience, too. Engage your yoga practice with full awareness and don’t give up when you falter. Know deep inside that it will support you, nurture you and strengthen you to better face your life.