Hi Yogis and Yoginis,
This month I launched a new class full of beautiful soothing flows, to slow us down and help us reconnect. The first class finished with a peaceful Aum, then as I was greeting the second group of yogis and yoginis, I noticed a few people wandering past our room in Karate gear. Unbenowns to me, there was another class happening next door, filling our spaces of quiet with “Hiiiiiiiiiii-ya”s and “Huuuugh” at regular intervals. Now we know that we usually come to yoga to get away from it all, and it would have been very easy to allow this to be a distraction. But while there are definitely things we can do in our practice to help avoid distractions (for example, using a block to help us in an asana rather than be distracted with an “ I can’t do this” thought), that evening was a good reminder that, at the end of the day, yoga practice isn’t about avoiding the distractions. It’s not there to make everything fit us so that we can feel better. As soon as we start worrying about things; being too hot, too cold, too inflexible, too tall, too short…; then we have started measuring, comparing and being less present. And all too frequently, it ends with us feeling unsatisfied and that nothing is quite right.
Yoga teaches us to try and rest in awareness of our feelings, but not to allow them to take control. We start with recognition, and then our asana practice can help us flow through those thoughts and ideas. When we being to do this, we become more at ease with ourselves and can begin to look inside. We begin to show up fully, to be present, and enjoy the moment whatever it brings.
So instead of trying to always maintain the (often unrealistic) equilibrium in life, we can then start to ride the waves of thought and emotion, witnessing, being, and staying afloat throughout it all. This mindset helps us become resilient, curious and expressive. Our options, and our hearts, expand, and we can fully learn everything the world has to offer.