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Embrace The Mess: Short 5-Min Yoga For Surrender and Acceptance

Laura Finch on October 3, 2021
Laura is a yoga teacher who completed 200 hours of training.

When I became a parent, my life changed completely.

I can clean to my heart's content just to find out a sink full of dishes, piles of toys scattered around the room, and a full basket of dirty laundry the next day. There's always some degree of mess around, which has caused me a great deal of frustration and stress.

So while everyone is talking about getting rid of what no longer serves you (yes, that's the fancy way to call decluttering), I've decided to instead focus on opposite ideas.

Let's explore:

  • how some degree of mess can actually uncover an artist in you
  • a simple mini-yoga flow to deal with the frustration, surrender, and accept the mess in your yoga, your house, and your life.

The Massive Positive Benefit Of Clutter, According To Researchers

Society tells us tidiness is what we should long for - a cluttered desk equals a scattered mind.

Tim Harford, the author of Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, goes against the grain. He thinks that Marie Kondo-type of order and tidiness is oversold.

Instead, he states that embracing some degree of mess can spur creativity, nurture resilience and bring better work results.

We've seen again and again that real creativity, excitement, and humanity lie in the messy parts of life, not the tidy ones.

Tim Harford may not be all wrong.

When researchers from the University of Michigan placed two groups of students into a neat vs. cluttered room and gave them a standard creativity-measuring "alternative uses task," students from the cluttered room group came up with more creative and innovative ideas.

Tim Harford explains that things that are too neat and organized cause boredom. And guess what... boredom is the worst enemy of creative work.

Tidiness, in a way, symbolizes stability and safety.

It reinforces our usual thinking patterns. A disorganized and messy environment, on the other hand, creates disruptions to our usual flow. But these disruptions are exactly what spurs new ideas and creative serendipity.

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	we are so seduced by the blandishments of tidiness that we fail to appreciate the virtues of the messy โ€” the untidy, unquantified, uncoordinated, improvised, imperfect, incoherent, crude, cluttered, random, ambiguous, vague, difficult, diverse or even dirty.

Besides, mess means that life is happening.

Cluttered closets and dusty mirrors mean that you've probably been busy spending time with your family and friends or doing something important at work.

As with everything in life, balance is the key.

Accumulating clutter isn't good for your mental health, but so is the obsession over the must-do spring clean and maintaining perfect order.

Embracing some degree of mess in our physical space serves as a good reminder that life is messy and never goes as planned. All you're left to do is breathe through it, switch on your inner child, and learn to play with the flow.

Embracing some degree of mess in our physical space serves as a good reminder that life is messy and never goes as planned.

The One Best Pose To Help You Surrender

We all crave some sort of control over our lives, whether it's simply keeping a clean home or sticking to our to-do's. But life is unpredictable and messy.

When things go against plan, it's important to get over the stress and frustration and get back on your feet.

Here's where yoga comes in.

A simple pose such as Puppy can help you relieve mental tension and embrace the messiness of life so you could meet a heavy storm with a lull of calm.

Puppy is a beginner-friendly backbend that helps you open the chest and upper back.

This sweet spot between the shoulder blades is where our sympathetic nervous system resides. When coming into Puppy, you're basically pushing your body into "fight or flight" mode. Your heart rate increases, and your blood sugar level jumps up.

But wait for it; the true magic happens once you release the pose.

The moment you come out of a heart-melting posture, your nervous system starts to down-regulate itself, slowing down all the activity caused by the backend.

Here's a useful cheat sheet on the iconic Puppy yoga pose.

Let It Go With This Simple 5-Min Yoga For Surrender And Acceptance

Stress and frustration about things we can't change can make us feel overly reactive, grumpy, and well... not so pleasant to be around.

This short yet effective yoga sequence for surrender and acceptance includes only four poses (yes, Puppy pose is there!) that you can do anywhere and anytime you feel tension building up. Check out the detailed how-to instructions below. ๐Ÿ‘‡

short yoga sequence for surrender and acceptance preview

Step 1. Forearm Plank

  • Start in a neutral tabletop position with shoulders over wrists and hips over knees.
  • Lower onto your elbows with your forearms parallel to each other.
  • Tuck your toes and step back, so your body forms one line.
  • Align your shoulders over the wrists, broaden in the upper body and engage your core. You might need to tuck your tailbone to protect the lower back and keep a straight spine.
  • Fire up your quads - the front of your thighs as if you're pushing them up to the sky.
  • Keep your neck relaxed and in line with your spine โ€” gaze between your forearms.
  • For extra support in the pose, you can lower your knees to the floor.
  • Breathe slowly and steady and hold for about three full breaths.

Step 2. Dolphin

  • From Forearm Plank, start to slowly walk forward while lifting your hips up and back. Alternatively, you can lower onto your knees and get into Dolphin from the tabletop position.
  • The shape of your body in Dolphin will remind the one in Downward Dog - the reverse V.
  • Your elbows will want to splay out to the side. Hug them in towards the mid-line and broaden across your shoulder blades.
  • Draw your belly up and in and lift your kneecaps to engage the legs.
  • Press firmly through your palms and forearms.
  • Knees can be bent or straight as long as your spine is lengthened.
  • Hold for about three full breaths.

Step 3. Downward-Facing Dog

  • Press firmly through your palms, and lift your elbows off the mat and straighten the arms. Now you're in Downward-Facing Dog.
  • Draw your chest towards your thighs, slowly straightening your knees and pushing the heels into the ground.
  • Firm up and straighten the arms. Keep your shoulders away from the ears by drawing them outward and gaze back.
  • Keep the knees bent if your hamstrings are tight. A straight spine is a priority.
  • Hold for about three breaths.

Step 4. Puppy

  • From Downward Dog, slowly lower onto your knees.
  • Align your knees to be hip-distance apart and stack your hips directly over the knees.
  • Walk your hands forward and release your chest to the ground.
  • Your forehead might touch the floor or you can place a block/blanket in front of you for extra support.
  • Stay active through your arms.
  • Press through your hands and relax your neck.
  • Hold for about three full breaths.
  • To release, lower your hips down onto the heels and come into Child's Pose with your arms extended back by your sides.

Have you tried the flow? Let me know in the comments below!

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