One of the most important ways to deal with both the external world and the internal world of your own body, is the ability to adapt. When the body is not able to adapt mentally, physically or organically to changes, we develop symptoms which we identify as stress, lack of energy, and a general inability to cope.
Since the second world war, the western countries have enjoyed and become used to a high degree of stability and affluence. We could ask ourselves if this has led us to increased happiness and to a reduction in illnesses (dis-eases).
Since 2008 this has changed dramatically. What we considered to be stable, has proven to be unstable, what we always took to be permanent, has proven to de impermanent and a life that was for the most part predictable, has become highly unpredictable. This has had physical, mental, economic, emotional and social effects, that in many cases are still being digested and dealt with.
"Do your best and leave the rest" ≈ surya namaskar
The physical positions in yoga are a way for you to learn to adapt, by letting go of what limits or causes unbalance. Your body is mainly comprised of water and an important characteristic of water is that it can adapt its shape in order to flow easily.
In the 12 positions of the Salutation to the Sun (surya namaskar), one of the aims is being able to flow, effortlessly from one position to the next, changing the form of your body as well as the energy running through it. This takes place when mental and physical resistance is relinquished.
"Expect the unexpected"
On a mental level the yogic attitude is discover and to develop a relationship with the neutral witness in yourself (drashta), effectively breaking the chain of disturbing action and reaction syndromes. By becoming aware of your own breathing, the mind, the muscle and the nervous systems can be brought into balance, preventing t
he build up of stress reactions. The contact with your breathing and with the witness within you, will both serve to create a feeling of space between you and what is going on in the outside world. Above all you develop the ability to become detached from the syndromes of action and reaction.
This does not mean that you become indifferent, as all the senses are still working and giving you information. The heart acknowledges the happiness or pain of fellow human being. But you do not become lost in emotional reactions.
However you do have the ability to formulate the correct decisions that will make your actions more effective, as opposed to destructive. And this is the yogic way of adapting to life and its challenges.
The result of the development of equanimity, is that you are able to remain balanced in the face of ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ situations. That is to say you remain emotionally and mentally in balance and clear headed.
In the same way that a magnet has a positive and a negative pole, the mind can also be attracted to the negative or the positive in thought and in action.
Equanimity is one of the 18 spiritual traits that will transform and liberate you from resistances, disturbances and negativity – allowing your personality to become a vehicle for positivity. These traits, as developed by Swami Sivananda at the beginning of the 20th century, are called "the 18 ities" as they are all words that end with "ity".