I’ve always been in love with moving. It just feels awesome, feeling muscles move together, dancing or running or even working out (yes, I’m one of those people). The “happy dance”? That’s totally a real thing in my world. I even have a tendency to groove around in my seat when eating some good grub.
I know I’m not alone on that. Not only are there plenty of other “adults” who assure me they can identify with my need to be in motion, but I also see it in the kids I do outreach classes with. No matter how well-behaved and engaged the group is, there’s always an arm flying out, a head bobbing, someone facing the other side of the room… and always a teacher apologizing to me for the kids and their fidgeting. But kids fidget, man, they move, and I totally understand.
I subscribe to a theory that we are born with “all the answers” and we’re raised to “forget” the real truths of the world and what we truly need from it. So why can’t kids ever seem to sit still? Maybe it’s because we’re not supposed to sit still. We’re seeing all of this evidence that sitting and working office jobs is so bad for our bodies — it’s because we’re supposed to keep on the go.
Also, it’s hard to sit still. The body’s systems are constantly in motion – every cell within you is hard at work at all times. It takes a lot of strength to remain sitting with proper posture for any length of time. That’s why yoga was created. Because there is such a huge connection between the body and the mind that in order to quiet the mind and seek a better headspace, we need to quiet the body and improve upon its physicality. We need to cultivate both strength and flexibility in order to pursue meditation for any length of time. Even if you don’t meditate (*ahem* you should start) then you still need to be able to rest easily and efficiently (oh yeah, a good yoga practice can totally help you sleep better!).
As Patanjali stated in the Yoga Sutras, “Sthira Sukham Asanam”. For us English speaking folks, he was telling us than an asana (what we call a yoga pose) is a steady, comfortable seat. Notice he didn’t say a stagnant seat, a ridgid seat, or a frozen seat. If a pose is steady, we can still work to find our fullest expression of it through mindfulness and engagement. As far as comfortable, well, often some adjustment and modification is necessary in order to find that in the pose. Often it takes a really long time to become comfortable with certain asanas, and perhaps its more reasonable to shoot for being “at peace with” the pose much as we might be with a frustrating co-worker or the neighbor’s noisy mean dog.
My point? Yoga is awesome because it helps work out the body so we can chill out. And if it’s not chill for you, do what I call “purposeful fidgeting”. Which means move. Explore the posture, ask questions of your body like “Hey, dude, what can I do to make this less terrible?” When that issue is addressed, the question becomes “What can I do to make this really awesome?”
Click on the video — let’s get moving and get awesome together!
Oh and if you’re still feeling like fidgeting your fingers around the internet, click here to leave a comment on the YouTube channel, and subscribe while you’re there so that you get updates about future episodes. I’m also working to create shorter sections as well as full episodes to roll out every week — thoughts about that? Leave me some comments and let me know!
Thanks so much for sticking with me long enough to get all the way down here to the end of the page. I’m already movin’ and shakin’ on to next week’s adventure…
-*- Namaste -*-