By Tracey Rich
resiliency: the ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change
Resiliency is something I have been thinking about in my own life, but I am also hearing the word come up constantly, of late. Perhaps the need to be resilient is simply a common thread as the world is confronted with innumerable stressors. Clearly the past years have challenged people in different ways, but they have called on most everyone to be resilient. Daily life creates enough opportunities to learn this skill set, but larger challenges require an even greater ability to rebound.
Yoga can provide tools to help make us more resilient. A body, mind, and spirit in harmony can bounce back. Even one of those levels in accord may provide what it takes to bring the other two along. A physical practice helps the body stay in balance, rebound from injury, and can provide the right amount and right kind of stressors to bring about better resiliency. Pranayama focuses and calms the mind, and increases vitality, just two of its many attributes. Asana and pranayama, the two foundational pillars of a physical practice, are each powerful individually, but together they can help you rock steady. And meditation, immersion in the foreground and background of the intelligence that permeates everything, and is a connection to spirit, is a mainline from which resiliency can spring.
And then, there is gratitude. When I think about the relative health and well being I have, that gratitude gives me resilience. It is a starting place that I continue to be fortunate enough to nurture and cultivate. When I reflect on the opportunities I have had to follow a passion for inquiry and live a vitally creative life, I am exceedingly grateful, and this is a source of resiliency. When I have experienced growing up in an environment of relative freedom that inspired critical thinking, openness, acceptance, tolerance, curiosity, and compassion, I am grateful. When I can feel and recognize empathy, discernment, and the healthy spectrum of emotions, thankfulness brings resiliency. To have family, friendship, and relationship when times are good and bad, and when I can see the beauty in humanity while understanding the awesome, awe-full, and awful nature of humans, I embrace resiliency.