This is indeed a thought provoking question, and can mean many things to each of us. First of all I want to acknowledge that we live in the greatest country and as my neighbor so thoughtfully added, “at the greatest time on earth” (with regard to abundance of our blessings). Yes, the myriad of freedoms we enjoy in the US come from our founding fathers (and mothers), folks who work in the judicial system and law enforcement, the men and women who have served and currently serve to ensure these freedoms, and the list can go on an on. We can and should include the teachers who empower us, health care providers and researchers who keep us as healthy as possible so that we can lend our efforts, artists who inspire us, religious leaders who lead us toward spiritual growth so that we better understand our place in serving our world,… Your list might be similar and more detailed too.
It is the summertime. Time to be carefree, to get out into the world, to embrace new opportunities that arise from spontaneity and the freedom to do just that: be free to decide on new things based on being present to what is in front of you. In the summer, I take up running, thinking more in terms of my exercise physiology background and the importance to build/maintain cardiovascular endurance. (Note: yoga practice is still daily practice)! Lately I’ve been paying attention to where strength, forward movement, and freedom come from, and what it “feels like” when initiated from different places: running from my quadriceps/hip flexors (front body) vs, running from more gluteal/hamstring/calf/sole of foot engagement (back body). There is a different feeling physically connected to different emotions energetically and the thought provoking aspect of all of this sends me more into the yoga philosophy part of my practice. For example, the back body defines our past, the front body, our future and how we choose to move, to build strength, create space,... gives us resilience, readiness and yes, freedom!!!
Building awareness through movement helps us to understand ourselves so as to let go of the past, to embrace the present, to be open to the future (not afraid of ourselves, our potential, our calling), to stand up and be counted, to serve, to love who we are, and to be connected! So here is yogic encouragement: Let your past empower your forward movement, not hold you victim. Allow this by actively working at letting go of what holds you back, without losing your focus on the horizon of your future (God’s plan). Suggested yoga practice: the Strengthening Sequence in your Essential Yoga Practice book and DVD. Get your copy here. Aromatherapy to try: Blue Tansy essential oil on your big toes to support inspired change, citrus essential oils for their uplifting aroma, and peppermint to hone your awareness when you want to truly pay attention to what unfolds before you in your practice.
Your freedom to move forward comes from your innate strength, that spark of Divinity within you. Let it shine and lead you (and the rest of us) forward! Happy Fourth of July Yogi Friends! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and share your thoughts on freedom.