How to Open to Grace While Brushing Your Teeth

In Anusara® Yoga, there are five Universal Principles of Alignment. The first principle is “Open to Grace,” and there are many opportunities throughout your day to practice this principle, not just on your mat. For example, a moment in the morning that’s part of everyone’s daily routine: brushing your teeth.

Physically, opening to grace creates more space and naturally brings you toward more optimal alignment. When applied to everyday life, it can be a remembrance and an honoring of the intrinsic goodness that is at the essence of you, and all that is. By being open to Spirit, you flow with the ease and grace that comes from knowing true wisdom. You look for the beauty and the blessings that are offered, even in the most difficult of moments or choices.

That is some deep and powerful stuff, yeah? 

So, when you go to brush your teeth tomorrow morning, give this a try:

Step 1: Have your toothbrush on the counter, ready and loaded with your favorite paste.

Step 2: Stand in front of your mirror in Tadasana (Mountain pose), with feet hip-width apart and parallel to each other.

  • Find the four corners of your feet, the ball of the big toe, the ball of the little toe, and the inner and outer heel, and allow yourself to settle into the earth by lifting the toes, spreading the toes, and releasing them back to the floor.
  • Draw the inner thighs back and apart, creating a nice curve in the low back.
  • Engage the pelvic muscles as you extend the tailbone down toward the heels.
  • Draw the shoulders down the back.
  • Let your breath grow you taller. Soften your heart space.
  • Inhale your arms up overhead. As arms extend up, allow your gaze to follow, and think of something you are grateful for in that moment. Draw hands to heart center as you remind yourself that you are a part of something bigger. 

Step 3: Grab your brush.

Step 4: Hold Tadasana for the next two minutes or so as you brush. Take these several minutes to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Become spacious and receptive to the many gifts you receive throughout your day.

Step 5: Spit and rinse, and return toothbrush back to counter top.  

Step 6: Standing back in Tadasana, look in the mirror and tell yourself something nice: "I love you." "You are beautiful." "You are strong." 

Step 7: Finish with a "Thank you." 

If you do this in the morning—maybe every morning, maybe only once or twice a week—you will begin to notice a shift in your day-to-day interactions with yourself, with your loved ones, with co-workers, with strangers. 

When we provide ourselves with the time, opportunity and practice, on and off our mats, to open to grace, magical things can begin to happen. Go ahead. Take a few minutes and give it a try. 

Find out about upcoming programs with Tiffany Wood at Kripalu.

This article was originally published on Tiffany's blog.

Tiffany Wood is a certified Anusara® Yoga teacher who draws upon 16 years of experience as a nationally certified bodyworker and life coach.

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