“Now slowly lower your right leg down and rest it near your left,” softly instructed Sarah, our phenomenal yoga instructor.
“Feel the difference. The right leg - which you just stretched - will probably feel like it’s longer,” she continued with a gentle smile in her tone, “but trust me, it’s not.”
The room was comfortably silent; only deep breathing and weary legs quietly and happily settling down could be heard.
We contentedly laid there, our wonderfully diverse group of women, feeling the difference.
Why did one leg feel different?
Do the loosened muscles make the leg feel longer? Why? And how? Can only a few minutes of intentional stretching loosen the muscles to such an extent?
Amazing. Just a little pull here and a little holding there and we suddenly feel our limbs. Even before we get to the part where one leg feels longer than the other, it’s incredible that we are suddenly able to FEEL our leg, bichlal.
Granted, it’s generally a sign of good health when we don’t notice our limbs and organs too much and just go about our day, but sometimes it really does feel deeply relaxing to notice a leg, or two. To notice how relaxed, stretched, loose, long, it feels. There’s something about its airy yet grounded presence that uplifts the spirit.
Try it, too! You’ll like it!
How can you achieve this feeling? Like I wrote above -- just pay a little attention to it. Just stretch, hold and move your leg and walla, you will feel your leg. Once you feel it, you will connect with it.
This rings true with everything in life.
Whatever we stretch, work out, and exercise, will become our focus.
Whatever we focus on, will feel longer, more real, and more prominent.
When we smile, crack jokes, talk about happy things and make smiley faces on frosty cars, we will surely feel happy.
If, G-d forbid, we stretch our negative muscles by reading and sharing morbid news, sad updates, depressing predictions and bitter tales, then likely we will feel quite negative.
When I notice the myriads of little things to be grateful for in my day (my laundry detergent smells SO good; I got on the correct bus; my shoes didn’t get ruined from the rain; I had enough milk left for my cereal ‘n milk), then that focus turns me into a grateful person with suddenly a lot more to be grateful for.
What happened? How did all these new great things suddenly appear?
They didn’t suddenly appear. The good was always there; I just didn’t notice it beforehand.
Well, that’s an easy way to have a good life!
B’ezrat Hashem, I am going to stretch my positive muscles, focus on my blessings, and delight as positivity becomes my new, prominent reality.
Try it, too! You’ll love it! Chava Isacovitch delights in uncovering Hashem behind and beneath every facet of life. She writes and lectures on a variety of topics and is the author of Aharon's Staff: Practical Chinuch Tips from Chassidus. She also coaches parents and teachers of children with behavioral challenges. Chava lives in Eretz Yisroel.