Power of the Pose: 4 Ways to Train Your Mind With Posture and Mantra
When you do yoga, training your attention on specific physical attributes of your postures can enhance your awareness of your body’s connection to your mind and spirit. Below, we’ll explore how four postures and corresponding mantras can be used to cultivate our gratitude for strength, balance, openness, and freedom.
Stand Strong: Goddess (Utkata Konasana)
Mantra: I am strong
Appreciation: I am grateful for this body, which carries me where I need to go.
The wide stance of Goddess Pose brings you to a place of stability and power. The heat in your thighs offers physical evidence that you’re getting stronger. Stay active from the tips of your fingers to the arches of your feet to engage every part of your body. Lift your gaze, arms and heels toward the light like a lotus rising from the mud. Stay a little longer than you’d like to practice breathing through discomfort.
Be Balanced: Dancer (Natarajasana)
Mantra: I am balanced
Appreciation: I am grateful for the practices that bring balance into my life.
Standing on one leg requires a balance of effort and ease. Become too rigid or too loose and you’re more likely to tip over. Find the perfect combination and your rooted leg affords you the stability to expand the expression of your lifted leg and arms. If balance is a struggle, remember that, like everything else, it’s a practice. It’s ok to fall because you can keep getting back up to try again.
Open Your Heart: Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
Mantra: I am open
Appreciation: I am grateful for the experiences and people who open my heart to the world.
Text neck is the name for the forward-leaning posture we so often adopt when scrolling our screens. There are all sorts of habitual activities that put us in a hunched position: typing, driving, protecting our fragile hearts. A yoga posture like Anjaneyasana requires an openness, a vulnerability, a willingness to experience all the joys (and yes, possibly some sorrows too) that life has to offer. Crack your heart open and lift your chest and face to the light to more fully embrace the present moment.
Take Flight: Crow (Kakasana)
Mantra: I am free
Appreciation: I am grateful for my freedoms and my ability to use them to help others.
When you combine strength, balance, and an openness to new experiences, you are ready to fly. You can have all the physical requirements for a pose like Crow, but until you’re ready to risk failure, you don’t have the opportunity for success. Learning to balance on your hands allows you to expand your conception of what’s possible. The freedom of lifting your feet away from the floor empowers you to dream big, ignore limitations, and help others do the same.