The 3 As in Anusara are the foundational framework on which the entire system rests. They are the starting point for the approach to the asana. And I'm finding them a great entry point for approaching more than asana, for approaching life -- particularly this holiday season.
The As are: Attitude, Alignment, and Action.
For this first week I've been teaching and thinking about Attitude. Attitude as the first A is the foundation of the foundation. EVERYTHING hangs on Attitude. "Our attitude distinguishes us and transforms us" so John Friend says. It is how we bring our hearts into our lives and poses. Attitude is where our intentions come from and ultimately what fulfills them. So in the last post, when I spoke of my intention for a holiday season with focus on what is simple, natural, and beautiful -- that arose out of the mental attitude that does not accept stress, that is open and that is awake to the deep love of this time of year and every time of year.
Thinking about for the holidays has been helpful as I approach holiday parties. Simple, natural, beautiful as my intention is in my home, and certainly as I get ready to go.... but once I get to the parties, who knows? Parties are a mix-up for me because I LOVE people and being able to visit with them, but group social situations are decidedly not my strong suit. (yet!)
Because I'm not in love with group social events I could easily go into the party with an expectation and the attitude "this is going to suck". I've done that more than I'd like to admit. Instead, this weekend as I went to two parties, I tried to soften expectations and have the inner stance, the Attitude of Openness to however it would unfold. That inner heart space that allowed for any outcome from each party was essential to my enjoyment. I was lucky to have the openness in mind because at the second party I spent most of my time in the basement with my daughter doing crafts, not upstairs visiting with the adults I'd hoped to see. It could've been a crummy, lonely time... but the Attitude of openness allowed me to recognize the beauty and simplicity of the sweet time with my girl. I'm grateful for that time, even if it wasn't what I might have expected at a holiday party.
So this month I'm going to continue to explore Attitude and the other two As as I move deeper into the darkness of December and the brightness of the Holidays. Feel free to join me!