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Yoga is an eclipse of the mind

By Michelle May, M.D.

My yoga instructor mentioned the eclipse during class and I found myself thinking about why this rare cosmic coincidence had captured our collective attention.

The country pauses…

Yoga-is-an-eclipseThe entire country paused for a few minutes to look toward the sky (or at least toward a screen to watch a live video) to witness this awesome event. For those in the path of totality, the perfect alignment of the moon and sun blocks out the light we take for granted and reveals a “night” sky. We are able to see stars, reminding us they don’t go away during the day just because we can’t see them; they are simply too subtle to compete with the daylight.

I pause…

During savasana, it dawned on me (no pun intended) that my yoga practice is like the eclipse. I intentionally (not coincidentally) choose to pause for a yoga class to align my body and mind. The physical practice of yoga slowly and predictably (well, ok, it doesn’t always happen) eclipses the activity of my mind. The world gradually becomes more still and quiet–and sometimes even awesome–and I am able to observe my inner landscape. I’m reminded that this peace and joy is always available, even when it is overshadowed by the day’s busyness and distraction.

The Actual Eclipse

Eclipse-mandalaIn Phoenix where I live, we got only a partial eclipse, but being a bit of a science geek, I paused during my busy morning to make the best of it. We didn’t have the recommended glasses for viewing the eclipse so we made a box camera and also indirectly observed the eclipse in the shadows the sun cast through a kitchen colander (I told you I am a geek!). I love this picture I took of the shadow that looks like a mandala with hundreds of partial eclipses visible through the holes.

Like I said… peace and joy are always accessible by simply and intentionally choosing to pause!


About the author

Michelle May, M.D. is a recovered yo-yo dieter and the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs and Training. She is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: A Mindful Eating Program to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle , winner of seven publishing awards. She is also the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating, and Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Bariatric Surgery. Michelle shares her compelling message and constructive keynotes with audiences around the country, offers workplace wellness programs, and has trained and licensed hundreds of health professionals to facilitate Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs worldwide. She has been featured on Dr. Oz, the Discovery Health Channel, and Oprah Radio, and quoted in Diabetic Living, Fitness, Health, Huffington Post, Parents, Self, USA Weekend, US News & World Report, WebMD and many others. Her personal success story was published in Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul. Michelle cherishes her relationships with her husband, Owen and grown children, Tyler and Elyse. She regularly enjoys practicing yoga and hiking near her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She and Owen, a professional chef, share a passion for gourmet and healthful cooking, wine tasting, photography, and traveling.

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