During a yoga session this past Sunday, I taught a client that I have been teaching for about a year now. He expressed to me that he recently experienced the most effective at home yoga practice that he has ever had. He expressed that before this practice he was feeling imbalanced, insecure and anxious but after his practice he felt released, grounded and in a more relaxed state of mind than he ever had before after a usual at home practice. I questioned him as to why he believed this practice was more effective for him than other practices. He expressed that he allowed himself to freely flow through his practice without overthinking if he was doing poses or stretches “right” or “wrong” or creating any type of expectation or judgment on himself.
After hearing this, it was definitely a proud moment for me. Over the past year, as his teacher I have encouraged him to see yoga through this perception and to hear that he has reached it on his own put a smile on my face. I realize that this is a common thought when completing yoga (the fear of if you are practicing a pose “right”, “wrong”, “good” or bad”). It is also common that the ego likes to trick us into believing we are not good enough by allowing us to create comparison between the way you complete a pose and the way that someone else may complete a pose.
I was inspired to create this post as a reminder for the next time that you step on your yoga mat. Allow yourself to observe these thoughts and begin to leave the judgment behind so you can simply let go. The attitude that you bring to the mat will shape your poses. Rather than giving power to the pose to change you, focus on the power that you have yourself to change the pose. In yoga as well as in our everyday lives, our outcomes root from the attitudes that we carry. For instance, when I allow myself to go into my practice with an open mind and a positive attitude, I can tell the difference amongst my flow, poses, and my overall practice as a whole.
Take joy onto your mat or into your life and watch what happens.
When practicing yoga, it is not about becoming more flexible but rather becoming softer in each pose and as we go through our daily lives. When we become softer, we release our need to understand everything around us and go more with the flow of life.
For instance, there is many things we may not be able to understand. We may question: “what is the universe?”, “why is the universe?” Or “where is the universe?”. Even the wisest people cannot answer these questions. Although, we can choose to soften and allow ourselves to open our hearts to the universe and welcome it, even though our understanding is incomplete.
With this scenario, or any scenario, we can accept that we may be uncertain or have an incomplete understanding of something, but can choose to soften, accept and open our hearts to it anyways.
When you finish reading these words, take in this moment through your senses: sensations, sounds and thoughts. Soften to your life as you experience it in this moment, even if you have incomplete understanding.
The passage below is from the book “Come on, Inner Peace” by Sachin Garg. This book was given to me by a man who was working in a little store located in the markets of Jew Town in Kerala, India. I am grateful that I was given this book because it opened my eyes to a heart warming story filled with various strong messages about inner peace. I loved this passage from the book and so I figured that I would share it!
From the chapter “The wind beneath my wings” on pg. 226-
“We are nothing but the mistakes we make. And everybody makes mistakes. That’s what makes us human. It’s important to forgive yourself for those mistakes and accept yourself with them instead of ruing yourself over it forever. We have a tendency to relapse into the mistakes we’ve once made, because we feel we have been there once, we could do it again. But that is where your inner strength, friends, family, passions, books, and love will play a role. Distract yourself to positivity and let life surprise you with its rewards.”