Posts In: change

I’ve been teaching yoga for quiet some time.  This year will make 21 years!  So along the way I’ve seen all sorts of people do yoga and I’ve heard all the excuses why someone can’t do yoga.  The assumptions people have about yoga are as many as the day is long.  Either they think it’s boring (usually the type A personality) or they think it’s too hard, or they think there is some sort of skill involved that they don’t posses.  But at the end of the day the truth (as cliche’ as it might be) is that if you are breathing you can do yoga.  The word yoga means “to yoke”.  To bring together breath, body, mind.  It’s definition is not; exercise that gets you into challenging positions to make you sweat or feel uncomfortable in the name of flexibility.  So if you are breathing and you can be mindful of your body you can do yoga. However, a yoga practice won’t be beneficial if you are inconsistent.  It really doesn’t matter if you are flexible, strong, injured, or out of shape.  The point is to practice.  To show up on your mat as often as possible to be present.  To breathe.  To slow down and check in with YOU!

Some of the best excuses I’ve heard are;

  1. I’m too tight.  Yes of course.  And whatever you don’t go to a yoga class to help with that.
  2. Yoga is boring.  Well then you haven’t been to the right class.  Yoga can be slow, fast, hard, gentle, sweaty, and deeply healing.  If you haven’t liked it yet keep trying.
  3. I wish I had time.  As I say, you either take time or time will take you.  It’s that simple.
  4. I have too many injuries.  The pharmacy industry is making a killing because you don’t think yoga can help.
  5. I couldn’t do that!  No you can’t.  You are in your 50’s and haven’t done much exercise but what you can do is start somewhere with something that works for you and stick to it.
  6. My mind is too busy to do yoga.  And so is everyone else’s. Just get on the mat.

One time in particular I got so tired of hearing a gentleman I had just met with multiple issues yoga could help with all his excuses I said, “You know it’s not your body that’s tight.  It’s your mind!”

 

 

 

 

Of course it was a relationship.  They’re always the most piercing way the Universe has to help us grow and understand ourselves.  And Holy Shiva it can be painful.

I was in a relationship with a man whose every word either offended me or hurt my heart.  Unfortunately, the pain was also a source of curiosity.  Why am I so offended?  I know this is not about me, so what have I not addressed in myself that I feel this primal need to defend myself?  The curiosity continued.  Then, there was a moment he was “telling me about myself” and I had an epiphany.  Oh!  This is yoga!  If I sit here in the discomfort and watch how I want to react but don’t, I can let him have his say and he will have no power to affect me unless I choose to react.

I realized all my hours on the mat had indeed prepared me for this moment.

I think there are a lot of times we are unable to react in the ways that we want to.  Times at work or with family that we can’t just have our say and that can help keep the peace but I believe it’s very important to notice how you feel.  Take notice of how you are being affected by the situation.  What is it that makes you want to react that way?  Do you feel powerless, ignored, not heard or offended?  Is it your ego that is offended?  Is there a threat to who you think yourself to be or who you  are trying to project yourself to be?

When you are able to be a witness to the inner reactions and not act out, unless needed of course, then you have started to cultivate the true meaning of the word yoga to “yoke”. To bring together.  To unify the feelings in your heart, to the thoughts in your head, to the words that may or may not come out of your mouth.

Keep Breathing….

 

– YvesMathurinPhotography

Have you ever heard that you should cut your hair on the New Moon? Well, the idea is that as the moon grows so does your hair. So cutting it at the appropriate time can make or break your lovely locks. Check out more info here.

This applies to your New Year’s resolutions as well. You see, we spend all this time gearing up for the holidays only to counteract them with resolution for January 1st to do things differently like eat better, quite sugar, workout more, start yoga, stop drinking, and start saving more money. But whatever the resolution, we usually fail by Martin Luther King Jr. Day and then we say to ourselves I HAD a dream.

The timing for New Year’s resolutions is simply wrong. Just like the phases of the moon we need to work with the phases of the calendar. December 21st is the shortest day of the year and September 21st is the Fall Equinox. So somewhere between September 21st Fall Equinox and December 21st we should have contemplated and established what we would really like to change in our lives and make our resolutions on December 21st so our resolve can grow with the days ahead.

Another thing we should do to help our resolutions stick is to ask if we are really ready for things to be different. Sometimes we only say we want them to change but we don’t really want life to be different. We are too comfortable doing what we’ve always done.  We’re used to it. We understand this misery. We don’t want to rock the boat and bring up the fear of actually being happy and fulfilled. We don’t want to try to change and find out we failed again and we are back where we started. Better to not even try than to risk failure. I mean you’ve done this resolution thing enough times to know it doesn’t work, right?.

But have you really?

When was the last time you took action on making a change? When was the last time you wrote about what you like and dislike about your life and how you experience it? When was the last time to really took an honest look at how you are contributing to the things you don’t like in your life? Or made a commitment to yourself, God, and people who can hold you accountable; that you will do whatever is necessary to make things different.

The hero story is all around us. She goes out into the world wanting to fulfill her dreams and passions. But along the way there are battles, struggles, fear, loss, dark places, death, and enemies ready to take her down. It doesn’t come easy. Then, when she has had enough, she finds her resolve, her commitment to find a way no matter what, and the courage within to change. She begins to prevail. Slowly things shift. Changes start happening in her life one day at a time and she celebrates them. She starts to see the little achievements and daily wins that will bring her to her rightful place in the world and she is grateful. Then when time passes, she looks back and realizes she is fulfilling her passion, being of service, enjoying lots of love in her life, and, of course, making lots of money.

So honestly, until you are ready to get down in the mud and use it to bring you to a better place, start making some serious commitments and set a date that works with the solar system nothing will really change. What are you ready to do?

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud–the obstacles of life and its suffering. . . . The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. . . . Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying, and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness, and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.” 
Goldie Hawn