Day 8 – 20-20 Yoga & Meditation – Alignment

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”   -Mahatma Gandhi

Even though flying seems like the more difficult part, true success depends on the groundwork – the grounding. This includes what you do in the present in
preparation to soar, as well as planning how you are going to land.

In gymnastics, before one is taught how to fly, they are first taught how to jump, how to land – and how to fall. How aligned you remain the entire way, from beginning to end, will determine the landing.  groundwork – the grounding – and what you do in the present as preparation to soar and planning how you are going to land. I still call a wheel a bridge, because of my past as a gymnast, which was my introduction to learning to build strength, balance and flexibility in order to ground, fly land and fall – and get back up.

Mindfulness: When you say yes to something, you say no to something else.  Be sure that what you are saying no to is not your purpose, your essence, your dharma, your gift or what you know. And be sure what you are saying yes to is part of the solid foundation you will need when you are ready to fly.

What do you need to stop saying “yes” to because you think you “should” and yet it leaves you frail and empty?  What will you start saying “yes” to because it is what you know in your entire being and it provides you with strength and empowerment?  Each of us has a unique and individual gift, what is your gift? Say yes to that.

Alignment is Happiness

Our time in the air is short, we don’t have time to waver and falter.  Learning to be present and grounded in alignment, each day, is crucial for optimization of body, mind and soul.  It is living harmoniously in your movements, your thoughts, your words and actions – your essence. 

This not only brings joy and happiness, but this is where we find the most success and we have the most energy, health and prosperity. Living in alignment is living with purpose.  

We can’t go back, so from this day forward when it comes to taking your next step or finding joy or success, vow to make that choice that aligns with your true essence – because that is happiness: harmony in what you think, what you say and what you do.  That is how you will change the world and become the change.  

As we continue to focus this week on the present, really make each moment count through alignment.  Continue to do your inner and outer work so that when you fly, when you are in mid-air, you will do so without wavering.  And when you land, because of all of your practice, it will be flawless. 

Movement: Prepare to fly by remaining aligned and open in your chakras, your energy centres, so that you can live with the highest possible energy flowing for joy and success. Each time you plant your feet, do with a sense of a secure landing.  

Meditation: Bandahs. In Sanskrit bandha means to lock, to hold, or to tighten. It also refers to a lock in and of itself.  Before every meditation it is good to hold your bandahs, making sure they are aligned and awake, and then relax them while maintaining the alignment for harmony.  

There are 3 principle bandhas in the body, and a fourth that ties them all together.  Together they produce our level of self-empowerment and self-control.

Mula Bandha: Is like a Kegel, if you are a man, contraction in the area between the anus and the testes. In Sanskrit mula means root, and thus Mula Bandha is the root lock.  

As our lives and vitality changes, our roots change.  This is why we have pelvic-floor drop.  It prevents our tight-rope from being without a block, like a water hose or vacuum hose that has been squeezed – it is not as effective and can even shut off the flow. Learning to control this bandha keeps the root lock strong. 

Uddiyana Bandha: Up from the Mula Bandha, is the Uddiyana Bandha. In Sanskrit uddiyana means to rise up. This bandha affects the energy in your diaphragm, stomach, and abdomen.  It is located in your belly button area and affects the back muscles and the adrenal glands.  This is the area of fire, and where it is decided what you will burn and digest to be sent for elimination and what you will absorb.

Jalandhara Bandha: In Sanskrit jalan means net, and dharan means flow. The Jalandhara Bandha is the throat lock that controls the flow of energy in the neck.  It is where your thyroid and parthyroids can be found.  It decides what goes down, or up, and what remains – mislalignment leaves words and other obstacles stuck in your throat. A strong bandha is controlled.  Tightening this area creates a sound when you breathe through the throat and is very important to exercise for optimal flow.  

Maha Bandha: Maha in Sanskrit means great, and Maha Bandha is the combination of all three aforementioned bandhas.  When we practice yoga or meditation, or walk through life, to keep our energy up and flowing it is important to keep these areas in mind.

More: Mirror, mirror.  Watch your alignment in the mirror when you are practicing asanas and when you are not.  Notice where you need to open and be aware of your thoughts, words and actions and how they affect your strength and alignment in specific areas of the body, the chakras, the aspects of wellness and bandhas.

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