Today when I was in my Vinyasa Yoga class, my instructor Josh asked us to do a forward bend, then point our arms towards our lower backs, and clasp the fingers together, and try to raise the arms over the backs and shoulders.

Everyone’s tendency would be to clasp their hands tightly and pull the shoulders towards each other.  But then he said the word “parallelism” – what he meant was that when you raise your arms, do not tighten the shoulders, but actually let the shoulders relax and drop towards the floor.  So two things are happening in parallel.  This way, you are truly broadening your shoulder, and not tightening it.  This shoulder stretch really felt good as opposed to the ones I did before which made my shoulders even stiffer!

In life, many things are happening in parallel, or multiple things can be pulling at you, so you can be in a bind, or feel stressed.  What I have learned today is that when things are really pulling you hard in a direction, and you are feeling stressed, don’t let the force pull you to the direction your heart does not want to go, but think in a different direction, and relax your heart, your mind, and your body.  Try to get into a more balanced position before making any decisions or taking any actions.  Your heart will probably tell you what is the right thing to do.

4 thoughts on “Parallelism

  1. I really like this post. The weaving of the yoga and the idea of balance and acceptance in life. Makes me think of the Tao passage that refers to a person who “has no illusions in his mind, no resistances in his body.”

    Really good work here. Thank you.


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