Stepping into Conflict

Life is life. Whilst most of us do not seek conflict,  we know that at some point , not everyone is going to agree with our views and we need to be heard. The result is a conflict that we know is looming. 

Through Yoga however, we can make the decision of how to enter into it and navigate our way through it until a resolution is found. 
An impending conflict is a huge block to our energy  and much of the angst comes from the mentalising before the battle where we rerun frustrations and our 'winning-punch dialogues' . The longer we stay in this loop of anger without being able to direct it out, the worse it becomes, so the first thing to soften the impact is to address the problem as quickly as possible. 
Before actually making our point ( which we have been simmering nicely in our own heads for days/weeks/months/years), we can use techniques to ground ourselves and speak with clarity rather than letting the fires of hell rage out of us (feels good at the time  because of the release of energy but usually hurtful and/or ineffective towards the other party ). 
The first tip is to focus on our exhales and count to 3 before we respond to any attack. It will give you space and tripwire the bodies' fight/flight response. Secondly, try and ground yourself , do a forward bend or lift a foot gently off the ground to focus yourself. One of my most effective ways of grounding is having a stone in my hand that i squeeze all the negative energy into , running your hands through soil ( a little wacky !) before an argument is also great.
Another trick is pressing each finger into the thumb repeating the mantra " SA TA NA MA" with each touch. Lastly , ask yourself how much of this conflict is really about your ego being hurt rather than injustice?
Hopefully these tips will help you go come into the ring with cashmere mittens on rather than boxing gloves.


The Happy Problem

We all have problems... Let's face it, life just ain't a bed of roses sometimes and it is hard to accept that we just don't have control of them pushing into our otherwise blissful existance ( otherwise we would have stopped them, right !)... But what we can do is look for the slightest glimmer of something that the problem gives us.
It  may be hard in the depths of gloom and despair to see where the light is but that is part of training ourselves to break negative patterns. My friend has a band called The Happy Problem and it it sums up a paradox than can exist if we approach things in a different way. For example, instead of being sad about a relationship break up, try to focus on the happiness that came from knowing that you were able to have found love. Instead of bemoaning the fact that you can't do hanumanasana ( the splits), be happy that you are trying and at least made it to the mat
Think of a problem that you may be dealing with now and keep focusing on it, turn it round, turn it upside down and shake it around until you can find one small, teensy thing that it has helped you with or given you ..... now you have a happy problem :)

Balanced out Baby
Think about balance this week. Pay attention to both sides of your body as you're walking down the street, sitting at your desk, waiting for the Metro. Are you in balance? Are you giving your left side as much love as your right? Is your head straight?

Keep this in mind emotionally too. For every stressful feeling, can you find a release? Can you think of something good for everything bad? Can you find a peaceful place for every jagged moment?

Balance is constantly leaving us and it's the work of yoga and self-discipline to open ourselves back up to it and settle in. A life out of balance is challenging - see if you can even yourself out this week. It starts with a deep breath..."
Hands up for Calm
Ever feel like you can't catch your breath? Take five minutes each day this week to stand still, palms together at your heart center, and breathe. Feel each fingertip touching and think about where your palms connect to each other. It'll give you the extra balance and calm you need to face the rest of your day.