All life is yoga.
When we try to define the depths of all yoga teaches us, we inadvertently negate all it encompasses. Yet, by broadening the scope so that we can reach more people, we then lessen the impact. When we are not living in our right mind, these words feel careless. How do you reach someone who may not be in their right mind? One way is through the physical body, specifically hatha yoga. Many non-self-studiers still think yoga is just stretching. Anyone who has had the courage to self-exlore and taken a yoga class knows that more is going on than just simple stretching. Let me explain.
After Bikram, have you ever felt run over by a truck? Have you ever felt emotional, whether it be happy, sad, excited, exhausted, bored, etc? There is so much more going on than just stretching in a hot room! If yoga was just stretching, emotions wouldn’t be triggered. You wouldn’t just get bored and want to run out of the room or scream at the teacher. I have sat through the most mind numbing financial meetings a person can ever experience. I have never once had the extreme urges to run screaming out of the room like I have when I face myself on my yoga mat. It is MUCH MORE than just stretching. Yoga is the undoing, it is exposing unknown territory for most every novice practitioner. Your body is your mirror as to what is going on internally. How you stand, how you breathe, how you walk – this will all translate into your yoga practice. Therefore, your yoga mat is your personal laboratory.
Let’s consider for a moment, the average person who doesn’t have any yoga knowledge or background. This person will avoid their feelings, they will avoid thinking about something that happened earlier in the day or week that caused a negative feeling. They think yoga is a waste of time, yet when they think of the morning meeting where they were made to feel bad by a co-worker, their breath shortens in an involuntary manner. When you do hatha yoga, you learn to lessen your grip on the past by focusing the mind on the body and breath. You apply breath and thus become calm and you subsequently begin to learn through regular practice that your emotional body is tied to your physical body – that you can indeed stop reacting and live intentionally. That the only way out of the negative loop in the head or the negative self chatter is 1. To become aware of it and 2. Discover your power to change your mind.
Most people depend on momentum. Without momentum these people lose their balance because basically, most of us are living our lives in a controlled fall. We don’t stop – ever. We’re going 90 miles an hour with our hair on fire. We plow through our days using words like weapons. We call ourselves beasts, we say things like "I won't quit because I have more people to prove wrong", women call themselves tough bitches because they think it’s funny or cute and that we have something to prove, we say, “this is who I am and who I’ve always been.” We label ourselves and everyone else. We watch movies and TV, because it’s in front of us and we just want to ultimately be accepted by our peers. Rarely, if ever, do we stop to self study, we just keep plowing through.
Then something inevitably happens, as it will because that’s life. We are forced to stop. And then we fall… When we live this way, with no knowledge of the self, no earthly idea how our individual minds work, no clue who we really are - just living to impress and prove to people something that they don't even care about, and when there is a storm that rocks the boat, we will inevitably fall because when we slow down, there is no balance.
You can’t think your way out of life! The problem solving mind is engaged day in and day out. We must rest our minds. Meditation will allow you to rest your mind but first you must learn HOW to meditate. Begin at the beginning. Step 1. Go to hatha yoga and learn to focus your mind. 2. When you learn to focus, you will learn to concentrate. 3. When you learn to concentrate, you will learn to meditate. 4. When you learn to meditate, you will then be able to rest your mind.
Rest here for a moment. Here is the calm and peace you’ve been searching for. This is who you really are.
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You guessed it. Yoga stuff. Right here from yours truly.
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