Want to learn how to go with your gut more often? Wish you were better able to listen to that little voice inside you, telling you what you should do? This 10-pose home practice can help you get there.
Very often in life, we are drawn to and admire the people who we see as “going for it”—the ones who take chances against all odds, create lives for themselves that are deeply fulfilling, and march to the beat of their own drums.
These people seem to follow some sort of deep, internal compass that keeps them charging hard toward their own True North. You could call this listening to and acting according to gut instinct, or you could call it intuition. Either description works, and both point to a person’s ability to tune in to what in Yoga is called the sadguru (inner teacher), and a willingness to trust this voice.
See also 16 Poses to Instantly Boost Your Confidence
But how does one even begin to find this voice?
First, it’s important to learn how to get quiet. There is a Zen proverb that says, “Silence isn’t empty. It is full of answers.” This is one of the many reasons why meditation is stressed in every sacred text. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali tell us that meditation will help us distinguish the mental patterns (samskaras) that we have created over the years—and perhaps lifetimes—that block us from receiving messages of Truth. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna (God/the Highest Self) tells Arjuna (the everyman) that above all other practices, meditation is key in understanding the true nature of the Self.
There is so much noise in our own heads, let alone coming at us from the external world. Trying to find our truth while on the bus or walking through busy streets is exceedingly difficult, because the external cues that we’re being given are very often catering to the ego part of ourselves—the part that always wants more and never feels like it has enough.
Also crucial when trying to work with one’s own deep wisdom is to learn how to distinguish the difference between the voice of fear and the voice of clear perception. How? One good indication that your answer is coming from a fear-based internal dialogue is that the voice of fear always comes with an agitation that can regularly manifest as a feeling of anxiety or stress. With this in mind, when contemplating some sort of decision—big or small—notice if the answer you receive also comes with a mental and/or physical vibration that makes you feel unsettled.
See also How to Form a New Relationship with Your Anxiety
Finally, if something appears to you as a sign, it is! Many of us have an idea that unless we see an actual burning bush or an angel comes to us in our dreams, we’re not receiving any Divine signaling. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. We are receiving messages all day every day, and it’s up to us to trust when those messages are actually telling us to go for something.
The truth is that the more you trust your intuition and follow the messages you’re being given, the more your intuition will show up to guide you. Take a chance on listening to the truth that boils up inside you, and your life will begin to unfold according to your own, perfect plan.
10 Poses to Help You Boost Your Intuition
Claire Mark's Handstand Balancing Tip Will Forever Change How You Invert
It’s a simple tip with a big impact.
Yoga teacher Claire Mark loves getting into Handstands and other yoga inversions. This balancing tip is so simple, but will make a big impact for your practice.
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5 Poses to Help You Reconnect With Your Partner After a Miscommunication
Even after a disagreement has ended, the effects can linger. Here’s how to foster communication and love after a fight.
I lost my mind the other day. It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. One second, I was me—and the next I was time-warped into my childhood. My perception of the present moment was confused by old emotions and past hurts. I all but blacked out, unable to remember things that were said. And then I went catatonic. I felt trapped in a prison of anxious thoughts, yet I was unable to put anything to words. And all of it seemed to happen in an instant.
The catalyst for this temporary insanity? A spat with my husband about household chores.
We laughed about it once we were brought back to the present moment. But in the moment of the fight, we were anywhere but in the moment. If we could have listened above the noise of the thoughts to the omnipresent hum of our hearts, maybe we could have seen how silly this whole thing was much earlier. If we could have met on the heart-level instead of the head-level, maybe we could have had that extra hour to do what most fights in relationships are really about: connection.
According to the cardinal yogic text Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, yoga is defined as citta vritti nirodhah, or quieting the movements of the mind. In other words: Get out of your head. What happens when we do that? We get into our hearts, where we are connected to everyone and everything all the time. Yogis work on differentiating between the mind and the heart every time we come to our mats.
See also 3 Things I Learned After Taking a Break from My Yoga Practice
But, can we get real for a minute? When it comes to miscommunications with our partners, quieting the mind is particularly challenging. Put a yogi in Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) for three minutes and most won’t bat an eye. Yet even the most grounded people I know can find themselves turned inside out and upside down by a fight with their partner.
On the surface, a fight may look like a squabble about a specific issue, such as your partner being on his phone during dinner or you always forgetting to close the dresser drawers. Yet what most fights are really about when we strip them down to their core is a request for connection. We are asking one another to hear above the words, “Please, can you put your phone down when we’re together, or remember to close the drawers when you are rushing to work?” What we are asking is that our partners hear our hearts’ requests, which is really asking our partners to be more present and conscientious.
The thing is, most of us get so caught up in the fears and emotions around the surface hurt that it’s hard for us to make the connection request from the heart. So instead, we attack one another from our minds and egos.
This is where our yoga practice can help and any tiff—big or small—become an opportunity for growth. Disagreements with our partners push us out of our comfort zones and ask us to take responsibility for our thoughts, words, and actions. They ask us to remove the walls we have fortified around hearts and stand vulnerably before someone, even when we are both upset. If we can learn to settle our thoughts and emotions, the ego is removed, and we tap into a special place that exists inside us all.
In this place, we are pure love. This is our true nature. This is our heart.
See also Two Fit Moms’ Heart-Opening Partner Yoga Sequence
What I was reminded of during this most recent spat with my husband is that sometimes, we must lose our mind, to find our heart. I created this five-pose yoga sequence to help all of us reconnect to our hearts—and our partners—after a miscommunication.
See also This 7-Pose Home Practice Harnesses the Power of Touch
About the Author
Sarah Ezrin is a yoga teacher in San Francisco. Learn more at sarahezrinyoga.com.
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