Smil det smitter!
When I was a child, the Danish Supermarket Irma shared these stickers shaped as a heart, in red of course. The branding was about sharing smiles. My favorite I still recall is “Smile, it’s contagious”. My mom allowed me to have it glued on my green parka coat. For sure smiling is the healthiest contamination we can spread.
You should try this little exercise:
Sitting or Standing, place the palm of your hands together in front of your heart, bend your head slightly, close your eyes and move your awareness to your breath. No force or control, just follow your breath. Mmmmm let your lips glide towards your ears and with a smile on your lips find a state of gratitude. Gratitude for being able to breathe, can smile and perhaps something else that you just know of.
How did that feel?
You can also try the exercise focusing on your solar plexus while smiling. Try smiling during your asana practice. In a pose weather its Yin or Yang, standing or sitting, practicing strength or balance, healing your heart or improving your sleep allow your lips to move towards your ears now and then. Notice what you feel, what happens with your breathing, your shoulders, your belly your mind when you allow smiling to yourself.
Smiling is a physical action there affect your heart, your mind and your live. Smiling is wellness for me. The more I practice smiling to myself during my practice the sincerer is the smile I share with everyone else. Even try it while bicycling while its pouring down with rain. You will most likely feel the rain less cold and wet – your clothes will remain wet, sorry no miracles, but I promise you tough times will feel lighter when your smile is grounded in the guts.
Bring your smile along with you. Try and share it out there in traffic to the woman stopping for red next to you, to the guy behind you in the queue at Supermarket, to your coworkers when you pass them for lunch, to the neighbor passing him or her coming home, to the homeless on the corner of the street and the one lying next to you on the Yoga mat. Smile it’s contagious!