Updated: Sep 14
Hi there! It's beetee. I'm back to Tokyo, on the mat and the drawing board. Norway was blissfully a social marathon, but I always was able to make time for yoga, even just for 15 minutes in the morning. I discovered a little bit of the yoga scene in Oslo, which is surprisingly mainly about Ashtanga, which is a great discipline, but quite tough for most bodies. Have you tried Ashtanga? What do you think? Let me know!
This week's quick dive: Wide-Legged Forward Fold Pose, A Rhythmic Three-Part Breathing With Ra Ma Da Sa and A Creative Way to Settle Disputes.
Yoga Pose of the Week: Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold
This is another hip internal rotation pose, before we move on to something else. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fall stretches the back and the inside of your legs. Even though your legs are apart (hip abduction), your hips are opened in an internal rotation because your feet are slightly turned towards each other (or at least, not turned away from each other).
Note of precaution - take the time (and the gut) to micro-bend your knees, even if you have open hamstrings, to prevent over-extension of the knees and over-stretching of the hamstrings. If you are not bendy, accept it. You don't need to bring the top of your head on the floor just for the look of it. Think functional. Also, be mindful of your weight distribution in the feet, not to lean back too much onto the heels. Engage your Foot Lock (Pada Bandha, we'll talk about it in the future) by pressing firmly onto the four corners of the feet.
I love taking Wide-Legged Forward Fold as a stepping stone towards a Tripod Headstand by lifting the feet off the floor. In fact, every time a teacher instructs Wide-Legged Forward Fold, by auto-pilot I end up in Tripod Headstand within a couple of breaths. Hey, it's my practice and not the teacher's, I do what suits me. And the same applies to you, if you know what you are doing of course :)
Breathing Time: A Rhythmic Three-Part Breathing with Ra Ma Da Sa
Just an extension of the last Breathing Time! Did you find the Three-part Breathing challenging? How about not thinking about it too much and let some rhythm guide you? As promised, I have made a video for you. I even made it a little more interesting and inspiring with a super soothing tune by kirtan singer, peace activist Snatam Kaur. If you have 5 minutes to mindfully breathe, or just to calm yourself down, check out my video!
What does Ra Ma Da Sa mean, you asked? It's a mantra that taps into the energies of the sun, moon, earth, and the Infinite Spirit to bring deep healing. Also called the Siri Gaitri Mantra, it holds within it eight sounds that stimulate the Kundalini flow within the central channel of the spine for healing. It brings balance to the core of our energetic body and floods it with new energy. I really really love its soothing sounds interpreted by Snatam Kaur, please let me know that you agree with me❤️
Anything above the Earth and below the Sun is Life. Hopefully something useful to you, or at least something that will bring a smile to your face. 😊
Settling Disputes? Think Smart.
Disputes happen every day in different scales at work, at home and at the bars. Different settings tolerate different ways to settle disputes. But this year marks the 30th anniversary of a famous dispute between two airline CEOs which was settled in such a creative and effective way. I hope the story below inspires you, or else, make you laugh a little.
In 1992, Southwest Airlines and Stevens Aviation came into conflict after Southwest Airlines had rolled out a new ad campaign using the slogan "Just Plane Smart." The only problem was that Stevens Aviation was already using the slogan. Herwald, CEO of the much smaller Stevens Aviation company, came forward with a challenge: rather than fight it out in court, where his airline would have been vastly outgunned, Herwald wrote a letter to Kelleher, Southwest Airlines' CEO, to challenge him to a sleeves-up, best-two-out-of-three arm-wrestling match. Herwald was 38 and had been a champion weight lifter; Kelleher was 61, and a self-described "serious chain smoker," who slept four hours a night. On D-day, the auditorium was packed, the crowd were overexcited, and President George H.W. Bush complimented both CEOs on their willingness to settle the dispute like this.
The winner? Obviously, both! Harvard Law School later studied the event and estimated that the companies not only saved $500,000 in legal fees that would have incurred in a lawsuit, but they also got about $6 million in free marketing and PR. Herwald won, but he gave the right to use the slogan to Southwest anyway, realising it was a better deal for him to gain the long-lasting friendship and mentorship of Kelleher.
Business doesn't have to be all serious all the time. Sometimes, a simple laugh would just easily solve problems, wouldn't it?
Thanks for reading! But don't leave just yet!
Ask me TWO questions or leave me TWO comments below. I'd love to hear from you.
Until then, take a deep breath and keep your worries away!
Yoga Quick Dive is a series of bimonthly newsletters that should take no more than 5 minutes of your reading time. Let's deep dive quickly into 3 topics: Body, Mind and Life.