"By creating an Upward Spiral, we recognize that our body and our attitudes are intimately connected. When our bodies feel better our attitude follows and this creates the momentum in life to propel us upwards. When we feel good, we do good and live fuller lives." - Eoin Finn
Just the other week, I shared my teacher Eoin's concept of the Upward Spiral with one of my classes. I think this is a really powerful time of year to connect with it. Most of us are familiar with the term, Downward Spiral, having experienced it firsthand or watched as a friend or loved one was drawn down by that heavy current. According to Wordnik a Downward Spiral can be defined as:
n. A series of thoughts or actions which feeds back into itself, causing a situation to become progressively worse.
What then, is an Upward Spiral and how do we get on that path of ascension? Take that definition above, and let's flip it, so that an Upward Spiral is:
A series of thoughts or actions which builds upon itself, causing a situation to become progressively better.
My teacher Eoin identifies several specific actions or elements that contribute to creating an Upwards Spiral and they are all part of his amazing Blissology Project, which I plan to participate in personally to kick off my new year. The elements include yoga, meditation, food awareness, nature appreciation, gratitude and an ever changing wild card element.
For me, one of the most powerful actions that I can take is to participate in my physical yoga practice. Though Yoga is identified as the science of the mind (with Ayurveda, Yoga's sister philosophy being identified as the science of the body), most of us have a really hard time getting into those deeper, subtler levels if we have not attended to our physicality first. When I'm practicing regularly my body feels fit and free and my mind follows suit; I need that hormone boost that I get from time spent on my mat. If I'm feeling stagnant, ill, lethargic or fatigued - how can I even contemplate taking action in a positive life-affirming way? It's pretty hard to do!
The simple act of flowing through asana gives me forward momentum and allows so much more positivity to flow naturally out of that single action. I feel better, I become more perceptive to the world around me. I'm kinder, more patient, and less stressed. I start to see how I'm connected to each and every element of existence and this inspires me to be an ambassador of joy. Doing my yoga practice paves the way to enjoying and experiencing everything else in my life.
So, as you reflect on the past and gaze hopefully to the future, how do you feel? Is your energy descending or ascending? What actions and commitments can you make in 2013 to propel your life on that pathway of the Upwards Spiral?
WIth hopes for an inspiring and intentional new year and sharing the spirit of Namaste,