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It’s no secret to those of you who know me that I absolutely LOVE zombie movies. I am a HUGE fan of “The Walking Dead” TV show, and all the latest zombie movies that have come out the last few years ( “28 Days”, “28 Days Later”, “Legend”, “World War Z”…to name a few). I’ve even read the first 9 years of “The Walking Dead” comics. Yeah, I am a zombie geek, I’ll admit it.
Right about now, you’re probably wondering why in the world I am talking about zombies. This is a yoga blog, right?
Well, yes. This IS a yoga blog. But this last season of “The Walking Dead” has had me pondering the meaning of life, and I realized something. Something quite monumental, in fact. Are you ready? You might want to sit down for this…this is gonna get deep! Here we go:
YOGA CAN PREPARE US FOR THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.
Yes! You read that correctly. Hear me out, as I promise I haven’t lost my mind.
OK. OK. I’m choosing to focus on the Zombie Apocalypse because I wanted to grab your attention a bit, and it’s fresh on my mind from all the zombie things I’ve been watching and reading. But really, what I am about to share is applicable to any tough situation we’re faced with. Maybe it’s an illness, a divorce, losing a loved one…anything you’re faced with that seems insurmountable, yoga can help. I promise.
So, without further ado, here is my top 5 list of how yoga can prepare us for the Zombie Apocalypse (or any other tough situation you’re faced with):
1. Learn to Breathe Properly
In yoga, we learn about how important breathing is in each and every class. As a teacher, I mention it over and over again throughout each class because it’s THAT important! We don’t realize how shallowly we typically breathe, and when we breathe in this way, it causes more stress. Learn to breathe deeply, and you’ll notice you are more focused, energetic and calm. On the mat, this is especially helpful when we’re working on challenging poses and sequences.
In the Zombie Apocalypse (or any other tough situation you’re faced with), this is also super important, wouldn’t you say? With focus, you’ll be able to face all the obstacles in your way more successfully. With energy, you’ll be able to push through until the danger has passed. And with calmness, you’ll be able to deal with things more rationally and realistically. And let’s face it…if you’re breathing shallowly, gasping for air, the zombies will hear you and come running. We don’t want that, do we?
2. Know Thyself
In yoga, you might be on the mat next to little Miss Gumby, who can get into every single pose without even trying. But if you’re not also a little Miss Gumby, then you’re going to get frustrated or hurt yourself if you try to do the same thing on your own mat. You need to do what’s right for YOUR body, and try to learn and grow in the ways that are best for YOU.
In the Zombie Apocalypse (or any other tough situation you’re faced with), you need to know where you excel and where you don’t. After all, if you can’t hit a target to save your life, then you’re PROBABLY not the right person to have on guard duty, right? Maybe you’d be better off looking for food, tending to the wounded, or something like that. The point is this: figure out who you are and what you’re good at. Then do the things you need to in order to grow in those areas.
3. Find Your Edge, Find Your Strength
In yoga, I’ve had many teachers over the years say that in order to get stronger in our practice, we need to find the “edge” in our poses…that point where we go just beyond our comfort zone but not the point of pain. Usually, this is said when attempting the particularly challenging poses. When we can feel the muscles burning, we know we’re getting stronger and making progress.
In the Zombie Apocalypse (or any other tough situation you’re faced with), this concept also holds true. I mean, let’s face it. If there is a herd of zombies running after me, I’d say that is a bit outside of my comfort zone. Wouldn’t you agree?
Seriously, though. There are many things that will happen in our lives that will throw us for a loop. No matter how hard we try to keep things drama-free and “safe”, there will always be something unexpected. It’s the nature of life. But if we can tap into our inner strength when we are challenged with something big, the lessons we will learn can be life-changing.
4. Let Go of Things That Don’t Serve You
In yoga, I usually talk about letting go of stress, negative thoughts, competition and expectations at the beginning and/or end of class. It’s important to let go of these things because they can hold you back on the mat. How can you expect to get to the next level of a particularly challenging pose if you keep telling yourself that you can’t do it? Make the choice to let go of the things that hold you back, and you’ll be amazed at how your practice will evolve.
In the Zombie Apocalypse (or any other tough situation you’re faced with), you’ll make better decisions if you can let go of these negative things because you’ll have more clarity. You’ll be able to look at the bright side of things (like the fact that you’re here for one more day). And when you can do that, it’s easier to find viable solutions to the problems you’re faced with.
5. Focus on the Present Moment
In yoga, I’m always telling my students to let go of whatever they came into the room with and not to worry about what’s waiting for them after class. There is only the present, the RIGHT NOW. On the mat, if you keep thinking about what you used to be able to do, or if you’re focusing too much on where you WANT to end up in a pose, you’re less likely to achieve anything at all. Why? Because you’re not focused at all on what your body, mind and breath are doing in the moment. When I’m not focused on what I’m doing, that’s when I usually end up losing my balance and toppling over.
In the Zombie Apocalypse (or any other tough situation we’re faced with), it’s even more important to focus on the RIGHT NOW. Why bother focusing on the past or the future? We can’t change what’s already happened or get back the things we’ve lost, so there’s no point in dwelling on it and wondering what might’ve been. We can’t control the future either, because anything can change at a moment’s notice. I mean, look at the zombies themselves. Do you see them strategizing their next move? No! They’re just moving from one thing to the next, as it meets their fancy, without a care in the world of what’s gonna happen next. Now there’s a lesson for us, right there!
So there you have it! My top 5 list of how yoga can prepare us for the Zombie Apocalypse (or any other tough situation you’re faced with). Now you can rest easy that when the Zombie Apocalypse (or any other tough situation you’re faced with) arrives, you’ll be prepared. You’ll be able to handle it. And you WILL survive.
See you in class!