Overcome Your Story - 3 Ways Yoga Can Help
So I've spent the last month challenging my students to rid themselves of their past stories. A conversation one would normally hear, during an episode on Oprah's Life Class or a Tony Robins Breakthrough capture, but now appropriately placed front and center on the mat.
The mat being the very place us Yogi's go to reconnect with self, putting our bodies through a series of motions, meditations and breath. As layers of ego peel themselves naturally from skin to core unveiling a light so pure and shiny, one would have to sport Ray-Bans (am I aging myself!?) while leaving the mat.
This is why I love yoga and believe my gift as an instructor resides as the ideal liaison in bringing the philosophy of yoga to the real world. To use Asanas and symbolically relate them to real life scenarios, so that the tangibility I work on to give to my students, in turn gives me an organic high every time I see the sparks flicker in a class room, as each student lights up when they "get it".
Unfortunately, our students won't always benefit from the philosophy of yoga, if they can't comprehend it outside of the yoga room. You see inner peace is not about being in the perfect place, at the perfect time with the perfect people and perfect scenario. It is about "practicing" inner peace among the chaos. It is using what we learn on the mat and intertwining it with the perfect balance of effort and surrender, willpower and grace, inhale and exhale to really grasp a recipe formulated into defining us as beings in that moment... not what our past definition describes us as.
We can utilize these 3 simple steps in helping to rewrite a new definition for ourselves instead of falling into our default mode.
1) Rearrange your mat. Place your mat in a completely different place than you normally would. If you are used to staying in the back or being close to the door, challenge yourself to journey to a new place.
2) Relax... it's only a practice. When centering yourself on the mat, be sure to say to yourself, "This is only a practice... this is only a practice..."
3) Define, not default. When you hit a challenging pose... maybe it's one you do daily or maybe it is a brand new pose you've never done, listen to yourself talk. What is it that your mind is saying? Have you heard it before? How are you reacting... better yet, how is your body reacting to this challenge? It is amazing how much Yoga teaches us about ourselves through our body's awareness. It is often these very challenges such as being in an uncomfortable pose or setting that drives the default mode into gear with anger, frustration, sickness or even just giving up. Can you relate this to challenges in your daily life?
Learn from this moment. Learn from your mind chatter and define yourself differently in that moment. Say something new and repeat it with a mantra as if your life depended on it. Let it be short and sweet... "I am strong." "I have the will to survive." "I love what my body can do."... and so on and so on.
Before you know it, you exhale your way out with an empowerment that allowed you to define, your defining moment.