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Yo Joan: Watch for those subtle signals happening right now

The big events in life pack power – weddings, funerals, anniversaries, birthdays. They tend to be seen as life-changing markers. Yet it’s the subtle experiences that shape us into creating the grand ones. Those subtle life changers are happening on a regular basis – even possibly right in this very moment.

For example:

Your warm glance toward someone may be the beginning of a life-changing relationship.

Your kind words may be the catalyst for someone deciding between a negative or positive action.

The way you react to a child’s behavior may influence the child’s actions later.

The way you read a poem may lift the spirits of someone who is depressed.

Subtle movements can be quite powerful.

I taught yoga for decades and it was (and is) the subtleties of the postures that make the difference – the movement within the holding of a yoga pose.

Although so much emphasis can be put on conquering a headstand, there’s really no ending to the pose because you’re actually moving as you’re holding. By this I mean you’re watching and listening as your body speaks to you. The more difficult the pose, the deeper must be your capacity to listen to the subtle aspects of your being.

This is hard to do because that big as a house ego gets involved. Aha! I can do a headstand! I’m cool! But it’s the humility in the acceptance that opens the body into exploring the deeper aspects of the pose. Going up into a headstand is simply a feat. Actually listening while in every aspect of the pose takes one to the next level of understanding.

In this type of listening questions come up. What is my breath like? Is it calm? Shallow? Steady? Erratic? Am I balanced? Is my neck taking on too much pressure? Are my arms strong? Are my stomach muscles engaged? Is my back overarching? The questions, the self-discoveries, go on and on.

So here’s a simple exercise to help you clearly experience a headstand type of strength in subtle form. I saved it for the end of this column so you can keep your eyes closed for a few moments after reading. Go ahead and give this a try:

Close your beautiful eyes.

Relax your eyelids.

Watch the wave of relaxation enter your face.

Joan Budilovsky can be reached at editorial@kcchronicle.com Her website is Yoyoga.com.