Resilience is about our ability to successfully adapt to stress and adversity. Of course we all face challenges in our life; some of which we may handle with grace and some cause us to cower and fail. It is a life skill that each new curve ball presents us with an opportunity to practice. Building resilience on our mat is a safe place to flex the muscle so it’s strong enough to get us through the next life upheaval.
Different writers define the specific skillsets that make up resiliency differently. I chose a different aspect for each week: equanimity, grit, self acceptance and perception.
Equanimity is the ability to keep your cool even in a tough situation. In yoga, using our breath can help build equanimity. A pause and a breath before you react or respond to stressors can lead to better responses. I shared a reading from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s A Gift From the Sea. A Gift From the Sea is one of those books I can pick up and always find something relevant to my life at that moment.
Grit or Perseverance - Week 2 focused on our ability to ‘keep on keeping on’. I like the word grit because when I was a farrier, it took a lot of grit, figuratively and literally to get the job done but use perseverance if it rings truer for you. I shared a reading from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations translated by Gregory Hays. It’s very striking to me the similarities between the yoga philosophies and the stoics. It’s another example of the universality of the human experience.
It’s hard to exercise resilience if you don’t have a strong sense of self or a reservoir of self respect to draw on in tough times. Like the airlines stress, your own oxygen mask is the most important one. To help build stronger self regard muscles we practiced a metta meditation during class. I shared a metta meditation from Thich Nhat Hanh’s No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering.
And for our last week - Perception
Are we perceiving our life through the lens of victim or agent? Is what we’re being asked to accomplish on the mat perceived as difficult or easy? Does that perception affect the outcome? Can we shift our perception to be more resilient? Perception gets to the heart of our consciousness and yoga. I shared sutra 1.2 “Yoga is the cessation of movements in the consciousness.”
Check my calendar to see where I’m teaching next month for a chance to experience next month’s theme…GRATITUDE.
Please comment and share any resilience resources you’ve used. We are all always looking for new ideas!
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