Fall is an amazing time of year. It’s a time when nature makes everything seem right in the world, even if it isn’t. Even if our government is shut down, or you’ve lost a loved one, or business is bad, or your heart aches for one reason or another… there’s something so simple about stepping outside and being present with the colors… the smells…. the crisp air…. the flavors…. and even the warm sweatshirt surrounding your body…. and then everything seems right again, even if just for a moment.
It’s easy to get caught up in this glorious feeling of everything being good in the world. As human beings, we like to feel good… and we run as far away from the bad feelings as we possibly can. It’s just human nature… seek out the good and avoid the bad. And if we can’t avoid the bad… then we try to cover it up. And we’ll do anything to try and cover it up! Eat something sweet to feel better, go for a run to “run it off,” meet with good friends hoping that their company will help you forget, go to sleep, and yes…. even go to yoga. You see, we often go to yoga as a “fix” for negative feelings or emotions. We start to view our practice as a place to escape from the pressures or negativity of our everyday world in hopes that it will help us to “feel better” or “relax us.” It covers up where you really are (see Are you Here or There?) Sure, you may feel more relaxed for a short period of time… but that’s just it; it’s only temporary. This temporary relief will continue to serve you on a surface level, something bad happens or you feel stressed- you go to yoga (or run, or ice cream, etc.) and you continue the cycle.
Well, there’s good news and there’s better news. The good news is that you can continue to use your practice in this way, and again, you will feel better. You’ll be more relaxed, your blood pressure will probably lower, and you may even sleep better. The better news is that you can take your practice to a whole new level. The unique thing about yoga is that it has the ability to be MORE than just a surface fix if your willing to let it. Our practice shows us, blatantly in fact, our deepest beliefs and patterns. So… start to notice your thoughts during class… do you blame the teacher? Do you get frustrated with your abilities or where your body is at? These are signs that you hold onto thoughts that aren’t serving you, in class and outside of class. Start to present yourself to them. When you become aware of the way you think, you can start to change the way you think, and THEN, the magic starts to happen in your life. Wake up and enjoy… see you on your mat!
PS- this is our very first blog post circa October 2013. To see the original email, click here.