Lifting the Corners of your Mouth

When too many days go by without a trip to Swan River Yoga, it feels like ‘something is not right.’  A few months ago, during class, a yoga instructor said to “turn the corners of the mouth up.”  At the time, it was difficult for me to recognize which direction was up, so I made some strained expression on my face before I realized the “yoga pose” was to smile.  I really enjoyed the thought of smiling being a physical movement of muscles, rather than an uncontrollable response to something that made you happy.  Ever since then, I have tried to incorporate this new yoga pose into every practice.  In some poses, it is actually quite difficult.  In others, it helps redirect the focus.  But, it always enhances the experience of my yoga practice.

When I returned from a two-week trip, I practiced lifting the corners of my mouth during a yoga class with a new instructor.  At the end of class, she told me that she enjoyed watching me practice, as I was smiling so much … even in the hard poses.  That day, I probably had even more smiles than usual though, as I have been overwhelmed with love and support after letting everyone know that I will be starting a faculty position in Montana.

There is one person that has perfected this yoga move: my college roommate, Kathy.  She smiles.  Always smiles.  It took four years of living in the same room with her to differentiate her happy smile from her normal smile from her angry smile.  It’s all in the eyes.  The mouth remains constant.  My sister, who was about 8 when she first met Kathy, asked me “does she smile in her sleep?”  And, I can tell you that, yes, she smiles in her sleep.  But, she also dreams about swords and you don’t want to mess with her when she is dreaming about swords (as I did by accident one night … ).

Smiling is an act of happiness, but it also creates happiness.  So, don’t forget to smile!


A throwback to our junior year of college.


Even when she is wearing a mask, you can see that she is smiling.


One Response to “Lifting the Corners of your Mouth”

  1. Ma Says:

    Kathy. Smiling. Yep!

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