Transforming Fear to Joy

Arguably, two of the most well-known quotes are those of Albert Einstein and Mahatma Gandhi. Einstein reminded us that when we continue to repeat the same mistakes (war–Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc.) but expect different outcomes (peaceful co-existence), we are investing our energy in insane actions. As Western nations withdrew from Afghanistan, the pundits began their discourse on the stress, expense and profits of war.

We spent about 2.3 trillion dollars on this war. Two trillion of it went directly to US contractors. So while this was a horrible war for many people, some people got very rich off of this war. The contractors’ stocks went through the roof. There was a 1,500 percent return on their stock prices during these 20 years. A lot of profits were made in this war selling the kind of products that the US government would buy, but not what the Afghan people actually needed. Joe Cirincione, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

As the Taliban continues to strengthen its power position in Afghanistan, many of my conversations with everyday citizens reflect disappointment, disbelief and outright cynicism toward our own ‘heads of state’ and political parties. The shameful interference in and then abandonment of Afghanistan is worsened by the current nonsense within Canadian politics. Trudeau and the Liberals are more interested in a political power grab than in supporting citizens’ needs over their remaining two-year mandate. Singh and the NDP are focused on telling us what the Liberals and the Conservatives aren’t doing instead of what positive changes the NDP is going to do. O’toole and the Conservatives main platform appears to be a non-mandated vaccination policy. Paul and the Green Party are so busy in-fighting that little energy will be left over for either campaigning or governing.

Last week I wrote about the Power of Politics. A more apt title for this week’s blog might be The Insanity of Politics. The more cynical pose this question, “How can sane people make a difference in a world gone insane?” The simple answer — continue to do whatever ignites peace, love and joy within you. And we all know, war is not one of the options. When we feel inner peace, love and joy, we feed the world around us with the same, which echoes often-quoted Gandhi’s sentiments to “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I encourage yogis and yoginis to double down on their asana, pranayama and meditation practices rather than give in to their fear of attending a yoga studio. During these times of high stress and anxiety, we need to maximize our healing potential, and yoga continues to be one of the safest and healthiest activities during a pandemic. So, with that in mind, I offer the following Restorative Practice and Yoga Actions, which will de-stress, re-energize and bring balance into your whole being. Repeat the Yoga Actions below while resting in each pose.

YOGA ACTIONS: Diaphragmatic Breathing
1. INHALE into your lower abdominal cavity. Feel its expansion.
Continue the INHALE into your middle abdomen. Feel its expansion.
And finally, complete the INHALE into your upper chest and lungs. Feel their expansion.
2. EXHALE first from your lower abdomen. Feel its contraction.
Continue the EXHALE from your middle abdomen. Feel its contraction.
And finally, complete the EXHALE from your upper chest and lungs. Feel their contraction.

VIRASANA (Hero Pose) 3 minutes
– practice Diaphragmatic Breath (3-part breathing)

SUPTA PADANGUSTHASANA I, II, III (Supine Extended Hand to Foot Pose) 10 Breaths each

– support outer hip with a block

– bolster at front hips; head on hands or blanket

SALAMBA BALASANA (Supported Child Pose) 5-10 m
– full front torso rests on bolster
– could place a sandbag or bolster along length of spine
– turn head after 2 or 5 minutes

SALAMBA BADDHA KONASANA (Supported Bound Angle Pose) 10 m
– one bolster length-wise under torso
– second bolster horizontal behind knees & outer thighs

– 2nd bolster horizontal to open the chest
– arms in goal post position

VIPARITA KARANI (Legs Up the Wall Pose) 10-12 m
– bolster under sacrum
– arms in goal post position

SAVASANA (Corpse Pose) 10 m
– place eye pillow over eyes to deepen relaxation

Stay tuned over the next two weeks for restorative sequences focusing on depression and anxiety.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.  Albert Einstein

May we see and embrace the everyday miracles of life. Namaste.

Picture of Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


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