Monday, April 19, 2010

Surrendering to Sickness

When my boys are sick it is often easy to view the illness as an inconvenience that interrupts our schedule. The yogic niyama of surrender - ishvara pranidhana - helps me with these situations.

Ishvara pranidhana teaches me to surrender to whatever is happening and to be open to what it has to offer. As I have stayed home with my boys over the past week I have found much to appreciate. A slower pace to the day, lots of snuggling, reading books, listening to stories on cd, quiet afternoons as they slept reminding me of their younger days, playing scrabble, and moments of talking and giggling.

One of the funniest things that happened was when Walkingstick and I found a new stomach settling trick that is perfect for ten year old boys. In my book of yoga mudras there is a mudra breath called snake breathing - bhujangani mudra - that eliminates stomach complaints, cleanses the digestive tract, and eliminates gases. The best part of the mudra from Walkingstick's perspective is the end when you get to belch. He thought that was hilarious! And it made him feel better. :)

To practice snake breathing you sit cross legged holding your hands in Apan Mudra (middle and ring fingers touching the pad of the thumb). Swallow air, as if slurping it, sending it into your stomach. Arch your abdomen gently and hold the air for a moment. Then let the air back out by belching. Practice this for three to five breaths. (For more info see Mudras, Yoga in your Hands by Gertrud Hirschi)

While many tasks at work did not get accomplished, surrendering to the moment and appreciating the extra time I have had with my sons has been a gift I can truly appreciate.

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