Last week I gave my yoga students homework! That’s one of the fun parts about being a yoga instructor, giving fun homework to my students to aid them in their personal growth and development. Most of the homework I give is movement, yoga postures for my students to work on in their personal practice.

This past week it was a little different, the homework was something for them to take off the yoga mat and into their daily lives and different situations. When I give my students homework, it is not only for them, it is something that I am practicing in my daily life, something that I have found beneficial in my practice that is life. And this “homework” is something I would like to share with you and hopefully you will see some immediate benefit in this practice.

This is a simple and easy practice, and it is only 3 words!

-Flexible
-Soft
-Allowing

It is easy to see how these words can apply to a movement practice such as yoga. In yoga poses we can feel where we are most flexible, we can become soft where we may find restrictions, and we are continually allowing our breath to flow. We allow ourselves to move a certain way, we can soften spaces, we can become more flexible with practice. And this is where we take it to a different level, taking these 3 words into your daily life.

I’m sure we can all imagine a challenging person or situation that we have to deal with, sometimes regularly. As you find yourself in front of this challenging person, check in with your body, are you becoming rigid? What is going on in your mind? Are you still present? Has your mood shifted? Are you still breathing?

And now let’s bring these 3 simple words into the situation. How can you be more flexible here? Can you bring in more flexible thoughts about the situation, the person in front of you or even yourself in this moment? Can you soften in the body, maybe in the internal organs, maybe even softening your words? And where can you bring in a space for allowing? Allowing your breath to flow? Allowing the other person to be heard, or maybe allowing yourself to speak up? Or even allowing yourself to say nothing at all and simply be soft, flexible and allowing in the moment?

This is a simple practice that I encourage you to take with you throughout your day. You can write your 3 words on a sticky note and place it where you will often see it, or carry it with you as you move through the world. Once you become aware of these 3 words, they will become easy to remember and will pop into your mind often as you practice with them.

I hope you find this “homework” assignment simple and beneficial as I have and as many of my students have in their reports back to me. Life will give you many opportunities to practice this technique, and I hope it is an enjoyable and enriching practice!

Here’s to allowing many soft and flexible moments into your life!

Carly Burke

 

 

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