In the Anusara® yoga practice there are five Universal Principles of Alignment. The first principle is Open to Grace and believe it or not, there are many opportunities throughout one's day to practice this principle; not just on your mat…
For this month’s recipe, I focused on choosing a breakfast option that is in alignment with your Ayurvedic constitution. To read more, click here.
Since we eat breakfast in the morning, I thought it would align with the theme to choose a moment in the morning that is sometimes overlooked as just part of the daily routine - brushing one’s teeth. And because we are spicing up our breakfast this month, why not spice up the brushing of teeth with the opportunity to Open to Grace?
First, what does Open to Grace mean?
Physically, opening to grace creates more space and naturally brings you toward more optimal alignment. When applied to everyday life it can be a remembrance and an honoring of the intrinsic goodness that is at the essence of you, and all that is. By being open to Spirit, you flow with the ease and grace that comes from knowing true wisdom. You look for the beauty and the blessings that are offered, even in the most difficult of moments or choices.
That is some deep and powerful stuff, yeah?
It is powerful. So much so, that when you go to brush your teeth tomorrow morning, give this a try…
Step 1: Have toothbrush placed on the counter, ready and loaded with your favorite paste.
Step 2: Stand in front of your mirror in Tadasana (mountain pose):
- Feet hip-width apart and parallel to each other.
- Find the four corners of your feet, the ball of the big toe, the ball of the little toe, and the inner and outer heel, and allow yourself to settle into the earth by lifting the toes, spreading the toes and release back to the floor.
- Draw inner thighs back and apart, creating a nice curve in the low back.
- Engage pelvic muscles as you extend the tailbone down toward the heels.
- Shoulders draw down the back.
- Let your breath grow you taller. Soften your heart space.
- Inhale arms up overhead. As arms extend up, allow your gaze to follow and think of something you are grateful for in that moment. Draw hands to heart center as you remind yourself that you are a part of something bigger.
Step 3: Grab your brush.
Step 4: Hold Tadasana for the next two or so minutes that you brush. As you’re brushing, take those several minutes to reflect on what you’re grateful for - the yummy and the not so yummy. Become spacious and receptive to the many gifts you receive throughout your day.
Step 5: Spit and rinse and return toothbrush back to counter top.
Step 6: Standing back in Tadasana, look in the mirror and tell yourself something nice... "I love you." "You are beautiful." "You are strong."
Step 7: Finish with a "Thank you."
If you do this in the morning - maybe every morning, maybe only once or twice a week - you will begin to notice a shift in your day-to-day interactions with yourself, with your loved ones, with co-workers, with strangers.
When we provide ourselves with the time, opportunity and practice - on and off of our mats - to Open to Grace, magical things can begin to happen. Go ahead. Take 3-5 minutes and give it a try.