Smile Asana

by elizabethbrantley

I have the most wonderful, juiciest, fabulous secret to share with you today. While I have shared it with many yoga classes and some friends, I am bursting at the seems to have others try this, to see if for you too this brings about the miraculous!

Before I will tell you what the exercise is, let me explain the result.

When I first practiced this, and every time afterwards, I have been flooded with hidden memories of joyous things. I have laughed out loud in public (yes, often in yoga classes). I have been en-lightened – in the sense that weights and burdens were suddenly lifted. I have rejoiced and celebrated, instantaneously. I have felt deeply and genuinely happy and joyous.

What is the secret? In fact, it is something incredibly easy and accessible for all of us, at any time.

All it is, is a smile.

I call “smile asana” (“asana” meaning pose), since it is an intentional pose that we hold longer than we normally would in life. Just as some poses in yoga look simple, but are actually quite challenging, this can be deceptively hard. Yet in my humble beginnings as a yoga practitioner, I believe this pose is the sign of a true yogi/yogini.

The exercise here is to see if you can maintain a smile on your face for 10,20,30 minutes. Preferably, if you practice it while you are doing something active (yoga, running, cooking, walking), your practice and activity will be heightened. However, I believe it also works well during, and as, a mediation. Whatever it is you choose to do simultaneously, the greatest question is “can you do it with a smile – a long smile?”

The hardest part of this pose, for me, is certainly to remember to do it. How quickly different thoughts and other distractions come to steal my smile. But just like any meditation, I pause and recognize that I have stopped my practice and move back into the smile, without beating myself up too much (which is actually hard to do while you are smiling!).

If you do this, I can guarantee that you too will be flooded with happy emotions.

Our bodies can’t physically smile and not connect emotionally to past times when we have smiled. It is literally impossible to hold a smile and not get happy (for some it just may take a little bit longer).

This will probably eventually lead to a laugh, which is always highly encouraged and deeply healing!

Soon enough, as you will see, you will be communing with, appreciating, and dare I say, dating Life on a brand new level than before!

If there is one thing that you try today, tomorrow or the next day, it is this smile pose. You will discover that it truly is a hidden gate to the greatest treasures Life has to offer.

So go and set the timer, go to the class, put on your sneakers, and prepare to smile! Prepare to bubble up from the depths of your soul the happiest parts of your experiences by opening hidden door!