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Peace in the midst of struggle

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Gene Williams is a yoga instructor based in Memphis, TN.

For the last 4-5 years, I carve out some time to indulge in a bit of yoga practice.

Today, while in my yoga class, I was nearing the end of the strength building sequence that the instructor constructed for the class. Right in the midst of near muscle failure from repeated vinyasa flows from upward facing dog to downward facing dog to headstand preparation, the instructor informs us that we will be holding downfacing dog for 2 minutes. “2 MINUTES!!! Are you nuts?!!!” my mind AND body wailed.

“Now, release to child’s pose. Rest here.”

Elated, I had to resist the urge just to plop down on my mat from exhaustion. As I rested in Child’s Pose, I really allowed myself to go limp, and truly relax, allowing oxygen to perform as a healing balm to rejuvenate my aching muscles. Within 5 breaths, the instructor instructed us to exhale and come to all fours, and come to downward facing dog, where we would be for 2 minutes.

Amazingly enough, the five breaths was more than enough time to endure holding downward facing dog for 2 minutes. At the end of the 2 minutes, I actually felt rejuvenated and like I could do another 2 minutes easily.

In life, sometimes we’re constantly bombarded by thoughts, people, and experiences that cause us to struggle through, often times, everyday activities. From the example I learned on my yoga mat, when life seems to be constantly pressing down on you, take a mini-vacation from the person or situation, which could be a walk, a drive to clear your thoughts, or by simply taking the time to focus on breathing deeply and consciously.

When you come back to the situation, you will return with a clear head and a newly found resolve that will help you tackle any situation head on!


Gene Williams
Certified Personal Trainer/Yoga Instructor/Owner of Nirvana Fitness(www.NirvanaFitnessMemphis.com)

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