July 4, 2011. We are all patriots today. It is a day where we celebrate our own courage. Not the kind that gets written about in newspapers but the Quiet Courage it takes to believe in the innate goodness in the universe where we are all willing to stand up for our right to practice a joyful way of life. On the mat the poses and breath teach us to embrace this universe and engage the best parts of ourselves. We are patriots of celebration.
Winston Churchhill said of courage, “Courage is the first of the human qualities because it is a quality which guarantees all others.”
Quiet courage is powerful in that it is the action of being ourselves. An unknown author writes, “Each human is unique. When we seek to be like the next person we lose our autonomy.” The poses we practice although done in a group setting are always performed on our own. It takes an uplifted perspective and vitality as part of the alchemy of quiet courage to be the person in the pose. This demonstrates our capacity to balance flexibility, strength and courage. From there all the other best of being human qualities rise up: love, kindness, empathy, honesty.
For me my favorite pose of quiet courage is Half Moon B (Ardha chandrasana B). In its most basic form it is what we do when we pick up something we dropped on the floor.
Details: Stand in Mountain, fold forward, lift one leg up behind you no higher than your hip while rotating the hip open to stack on the standing leg, open your chest while you go into the pose feeling how mentally and physically powerful you are. Feel how you can remain open in the midst of challenge with quiet confidence. Be aware of the courage in your standing leg without overwhelming your breath. Your breath stays balanced, quietly even with full awareness as you celebrate your poise and bravery!
So today July 4th in the U.S.A practice being a Patriot of Celebration. Take time to quietly celebrate opening your heart to how great life is and is yet to be. Or as Rumi writes, “Open the window in the center of your chest and let spirit move in and out.” Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia