Week 5: The glass is just a glass

The Glass Is Half Full
by Paul Crapol

“Cheer up, it’s not so bad!” It seems that someone is always willing to say that whenever we’re walking down the street, absorbed in our thoughts. “Look on the bright side,” they encourage us.

Of course, that kind someone has probably just inherited an obscene sum of money or won the largest Powerball jackpot ever last Tuesday. Easy for them to say, “Cheer up” – their most difficult decision of the day is whether to buy or lease their new robot butler.

But sometimes it turns out that the kind soul reaching out to us is someone who practices yoga. And they really do look on the bright side (or at least not on the dark side), regardless of what happens in life.

Plain and simple, the regular practice of yoga helps our outlook on life. When we practice yoga, we don’t run away and hide from the thoughts, sensations, and emotions that run through our minds. Rather, we are encouraged to just “stay with” whatever arises. Without judgment and, as much as possible, without the knee-jerk reactions that have become ingrained habits. Using this mindfulness, we soon see how often we automatically attach labels of “good” or “bad” to just about everything that arises in our lives.

Yoga practice helps us to take a moment and just breathe before we react. Yoga can’t stop x, y,or z from happening, but it can help us in how we respond to x, y, and z. Over time, that negative “self-talk” we all know so well loosens its grip a bit and we can engage with whatever we’re thinking and feeling. So, when that proverbial glass of water arises in our lives, we can unattach from the immediate reactions of “half empty” or “half full” and just see it for what it is: A glass of water.
Paul Crapol is a wonderful part of our Studio South Family. He brings a balanced voice that is full of warmth and compassion to all those he comes in contact with. He teaches Hot Yoga and Hot Flow. He is also a professional writer.

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