What you choose to do is behavior. Anything. Go ahead and choose. Right now.
There. Whatever you did, even if it was nothing, was a choice. And that expression of your choice is your behavior! Not complicated.
One of the many things I love about yoga is that it represents very fundamental behaviors, with a twist. These are behaviors that emphasize our bodies. Yoga has been called slow dance, and it is. But this is a dance I can do throughout the day, at any time. Even now, writing and typing, I can roll my shoulder blades back or tuck my tailbone. Remember to breathe!
As individuals, as a society, we choose how to live. Those choices are shown through behavior. When we settle into our easy chairs to watch the super bowl, do we think about our hips or back? When we’re older and our hips hurt, do we think back on those easy chair days? How many hip replacements and bad backs do you know? And how many older cultures, without the luxury of easy chairs, have as many hip replacements and bad backs?
Yes, yoga is behavior. And we’re going to start studying it in more detail. As students of behavior, everything has to be on our plate. Economics, politics, anthropology, to mention a few of the more acceptable disciplines. But we should also study yoga, etiquette, and the arts.
There’s one more great reason why studying yoga has great benefits. Long term thinking. When you stand in mountain pose (tadasana) and turn your thoughts inward to your breath, your feet, knees, hips, and hands, you are also quieting your mind towards all the other influences in our lives that can cause stress. At the very same time you are also reminding your body about the skills it’s going to need when you are 80, 90, or 100 years old.
Behaving in ways that keep us healthy till we’re 100. That’s long term thinking. That’s prevention, not prescription. That’s saying no to surgery, and no to drugs.
Anyone, care to slow dance?