It’s 150 years since Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was first published. You might think ‘what has Alice in Wonderland got to do with yoga?’ so you may be surprised to discover that it is possible to draw a yoga life lesson from the pages of the book and Alice’s experience.
The book tells a story of an Alice who is lost. She’s big. She’s small. She has forgotten the key to the garden. She gets stuck. She loses her way. She doesn’t know which way to go, or who or what she is. The characters she meets on her travels don’t know who or what she is either and they constantly ask her. She can’t remember rhymes she thought she knew off by heart, and can’t do easy maths.
She says things like:
How puzzling these changes are! I’m never sure what I’m going to be from one minute to another.
In life we can feel a bit lost sometimes. On a particular day we can feel flighty or stressed, anxious, or just a bit up in the air.
This is where yoga can step in.
Yoga can be grounding. It can bring back a feeling of calm and pervading peace. It can bring you back to the present moment with increased awareness and consciousness, and a feeling of wholeness.
There are particular poses that can offset those flighty or stressed feelings. These grounding poses are marked by being close to the ground, or the root/pelvis is the closest energy centre to the ground. Certain poses can also be grounding when held for an extended period.
Yoga also harnesses the power of mindfulness and breathing awareness and techniques to combat those lost/jittery/anxious feelings and emotions.
Some of the Yoga Grounding Poses
Sukhasana or Easy Pose – sitting cross-legged, so your sitting bones are pressing into the ground.
Balasana or Child’s pose – an excellent pose for relieving stress and mild anxiety.
Alice in Wonderland is a wonderful light and entertaining dream-like adventure, but delve behind the entertainment and you can definitely glean lessons from within its pages.
The following quote is the one that stands out the most; it begs self-awareness and asks that big philosophical question of life, “Who am I?”…
I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night … let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But I am not the same, the next question is, who in the world am I? Ah that’s the great question.
Yoga provides an answer to this question. Yoga teaches us that we are part of a connected universal whole – we are all one. Yoga guides us back to ourselves for intimate self-investigation and the development of self-awareness. Yoga could really help Alice.