Updated: Jul 30, 2020
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar (security) to embrace the new. There is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. You’ve probably heard that how you show up on your yoga mat is a reflection of how you show up off your mat (ie. the other twenty-three hours of your day).
This week’s classes will encourage you to check in and evaluate whether it’s time to up level your practice and step out of your comfort zone, or if you are right where you are supposed to be.
Time for a little reflection and self-assessment. Take a few moments to ponder your yoga practice over the last three to six months. Make some allowances for the for the things going on in your life at present, but be honest with yourself.
When you’ve developed a yoga routine that works for your schedule and your lifestyle, sometimes it’s easy to become complacent and that’s when you need to remind yourself that Patanjali wrote in the Yoga Sutras that the path of yoga is simple, but it isn’t easy.
I’m not suggesting you need to let go of your favourite classes and teachers; I’m suggesting you make sure you aren’t growing stagnant. Yoga is a path to find clarity in your mind. Your practice activates and elevates brain waves and nervous system. It is important and you need to keep growing, inside and out.
Trying a different practice can help you evolve physically, emotionally, and mentally. This week, consider pushing your boundaries and trying something new or different, at least one time.
Deepening your practice doesn’t necessarily mean a more advanced physical posture; striking a pose doesn’t necessarily correlate to a deeper practice. Advancing your practice can mean a more attentive mindset with your pranayama* (lengthen your breath), your intention, or pushing yourself a little harder when you’ve been on autopilot. Just as in other aspects of your life, it's good to level up sometimes, and soar to new heights.
When you step into an uncomfortable situation and breathe through it, you create change, inside and out. You grow each time you try something new. By working toward something outside of your usual patterns, you will create change and develop a new "Neuro Net" (brain pathway). Also, to solidify your change (growth) you need to be witnessed (observed) in your new change attitude, behaviour, etc.
Questions to Ponder:
1. Have you settled into a comfortable routine––too comfortable a routine?
2. When is the last time you had a breakthrough in your yoga or meditation practice? 3. Are you fully present for your practice, or have you found yourself in autopilot mode, where you’re simply going through the motions as opposed to continuing to grow?
*Pranayama: In Sanskrit, Pranayama is the control and extension of your life force, but in yoga, it more practically refers to breath work. Scientific research has shown that Pranayama techniques help treat stress and asthma, improve lung function, and autonomic functions (ie. heart rate, digestion, respiration, and sexual arousal). Pranayama yogis share that that their Pranayama practice helps develop a steady mind, strong will-power, enhanced perception, and sound judgment, ultimately an even longer life.