recalibrate: day 4 

“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.”

― Lao-Tzu

Welcome to day 4!

What is the difference between a 30-watt lightbulb and a 30-watt laser?

 

Concentration. 

When we sharpen our focus and concentration,  we're able to cut through all the layers of distraction that exist and really drop into the depth of our being. 

 

Today is a bit of a stronger physical practice, focussing on evoking strength and stability through the core of the body. In each movement, can you connect deeper to your own innate inner strength? In both the movement and the meditation, attempt to use your breath to cultivate a softness within that strength. That which is very strong and rigid can eventually shatter, while that which is strong and soft can bend and not break. 

Our practice is like the training ground for the rest of our life. Our ability to be in the moment, listen to our body, breathe through discomfort (both physical and emotional), soften resistance, and harness our focus are naturally strengthened when we spend time on our yoga mat or on our meditation cushion. Sometimes life flows beautifully and with ease, and we don't necessarily need these tools. It's sort of like driving a car. Sometimes you can do it with the music blasting, the windows rolled down, and be planning what you're going to make for dinner. But, sometimes, you're in busy traffic, or an unfamiliar city and you need to turn off the music, roll up the windows and focus on every move you make.  When life gets challenging, or we're not sure what our next move should be,  that's when we need to slow down, focus our attention inward, and get quiet enough to listen. Consistent practice helps to strengthen our inner resources and gives us a toolkit to reach into whenever we may need. 

So, today, I'll invite you to begin to integrate your practice into the rest of your day. Pay attention to moments where you feel thrown off balance - perhaps unnecessary stress creeps in, overwhelming emotion takes over, or you notice the thoughts are running wild. Take a moment to pause. Feel your feet on the earth and use a few slow, deep, belly breaths to bring your focus back. 

We're over halfway through the week together and I really encourage you to keep going!

If you've missed a day, feel free to just jump back in wherever you are.

As always, any questions or comments, along the way, contact me anytime.

xx

- H. 

Today's Yoga: The Core

All you need today is something to sit onto at the beginning, like a cushion or a block, so that your spine is nice and tall. If it works better for you, feel free to sit on a chair for the first few minutes.

 

Unfortunately, the intro to this video is a bit quiet, but after the first two minutes, it gets better :)

Enjoy!

Today's Breathing + Meditation

Today's breathing and meditation practices​ are best done in a seated position.

Take your time to get comfortable. Remember that both a cushion on the floor or a chair are good options as long as you're able to sit upright and relax. You choose what feels best.  

© 2021 Hailey O'Hara

Images: Cooper and O'Hara