Smile! It’s Yoga For Your Face

Wow! I just finished up my very first Yoga Radio show, and I want to share some of the highlights with you here.

If you missed it, you can listen to the show here: Yoga Radio with Katrina Ariel

First, I invite you to sit up taller.

Take a deep breath and feel your hips beneath you.

Give yourself this time to really feel your breath move.

Lift your heart brightly and gently encourage your shoulders to come back, so you have more space to breathe.

Notice how you feel, just focusing on your breath.

This simple awareness of opening up your breath and realigning your posture is something you can do at any time to shift your state.

I know when I’m sitting at my computer my posture tends to degrade to what one of my teachers calls “slouchasana”.

This position of slouching forward blocks your breath, creates less space for your internal organs, and is definitely not helpful for the happiness of your back, hips, shoulders and neck.

So, just by sitting up tall and taking a deep breath, hopefully you notice yourself feeling better.

My intention with this show is to bring you real, relevant, immediately helpful ways to use the ancient wisdom and innovative tools of yoga in everyday life, moment to moment, so that you can more skillfully ride the waves of being human, and live life more fully.

Now, you’ve probably heard this quote by Wayne Dyer:

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

This idea of shifting perception is a powerful part of yoga.

Today’s show title is “Smile! It’s yoga for your face.” So let’s start with that.

When you smile, a whole series of good things happen. Here’s a little list of 4 reasons why smiling is so powerful, and – interestingly enough, the same things could all be said about a yoga practice in general.

4 Powerful Ways Why Smiling – And yoga – Is Good For You

1) You’re a lot more attractive when you smile. Not just for other people to look at you, but you’ll also find yourself more attractive, which brings more confidence and helps you be happier about who you are. It’s also a natural face lift, using the muscles that defy gravity, so smiling keeps you looking young and healthy. Definitely a good thing.

2) Smiling is a great thing for your health. It boosts your immune system, helps you relax and de-stress, lowers your blood pressure if it’s too high, and also balances your hormones.

When you smile, your body releases endorphins, hormones that act as natural pain killers, and serotonin, which I lovingly call happy juice. So in a very physical way smiling increases your health.

3) When you smile, your attitude shifts. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to be in a bad mood when you smile. If you’re depressed or angry, try looking at yourself in the mirror and making yourself smile. It might be a fake-it-till-you-make it scenario at first, but very quickly your mood will change.

Also, the slouched over posture that most of us have when we’re down tends to improve by a long shot when we smile. Try slouching and smiling really bright. It’s hard to do! You naturally want to sit up tall and let your heart shine. Happiness and smiling go hand in hand. Even though we generally think we smile because we are happy, we can actually initiate the feeling of happiness by simply starting to smile.

4) Smiling is a gift to others. First of all, when you smile you’re a lot more fun to be around. And if someone is having a bad day and you smile at them, it can make a huge difference. By smiling you’re sharing something very pure. To me I think of it like sharing the light of your heart.

That’s yoga. It’s funny, because you don’t often think of smiling as yoga, but it is. It increases your physical, mental, and emotional health, makes you more aware of the things that are good because that’s the attitude you’re choosing, and this ripples out to create more harmony on many levels.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Mother Teresa:

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

Yoga Radio is LIVE every Thursday from 11am-noon Pacific time. If you miss the live show you can catch it on the archives or download the mp3.

Click here to Listen to Yoga Radio.

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