Close your Eyes. Breathe. Listen to 'The Way.'
What was it that appealed to you when beginning yoga or fitness?
Balance? (In more ways than one, right?)
A Safe Space to De-Stress?
To Get Outside of your Head?
To Get Inside of your Head?
Whatever the reason may be, come back to it from time to time. You may see it evolve and change shape. You may realize that your initial reason was not even what you were truly seeking. The formless form of your journey begins as you unfold the deeper meanings of the practice, and more intuitively understand your desires.
The most critical aspect of starting ANYTHING in life is understanding that you are not doing it for the ego, but rather for the betterment of the Self, both the acceptance of Self, and the realization that you already house the tools to be accepting in this present moment, free of judgement and free of expectation.
You must remember that if there is a goal that you wish to achieve, there must ALWAYS be a balance - or a counter balance rather - once you attain your designated goal. This allows the journey to continue forth, fully balanced and realized. You are exactly where you need to be, but if your practice is goal-oriented, begin to understand why.
Without Darkness, there may be no Light.
The perspective you have going into your practice will affect how you obtain, visualize, and move through not only the lessons on the mat, but also off the mat.
What are you carrying into your yoga practice with your goal, that is reflected off the mat?
No Pain, No Gain Mentality
Social Status Shaming
Repetitive Movement Patterns (i.e. Chatarunga as a injury creator vs. strength builder)
Repetitive Thinking Patterns
Repetitive Emotional Patterns
There seems to be a repetition here... When you break the mold early on, you empower yourself by understanding that you are a body of complex muscles, tendons, nerves, emotions, thoughts, and endless light that deserves your own full attention.
Resiliency in Motion: Overcoming the Ego
Break the Mold!
Wal-Mart leggings? Anti-conformity body? Amputee? "Over-Weight?" Transgender? Do you feel like you have to fit into the "yogi mold" that your Instagram ads are showing you? Remember your origin story and reason for entering this practice. Revel in the small stuff, and don't get too caught up in the deep stuff. Each step on your journey is a milestone, and deep down you know that! If you see yourself getting caught up in the vortex of this ideal image of what a modern day yogi should look like, remember that you may miss out on one of the greatest lessons: YOU ARE ENOUGH.
Of self, or others! Although the Instagram ads may look different than yourself, if you feel a judgement overwhelming, try to understand it! Self-analyze with an open heart and mind! See where these thought patterns are arising. Observe how this affects you short and long term. See if this is carried onto the mat with your own self-talk during and after practice.
"I can't do yoga because I can't touch my toes!" - If I had a pretty penny for every time I heard that, I could travel the world in a copper-laden boat. The goal is never to touch the toes, it is always what you learn on the way down. Instead inquire, "Where is the tension stored in my body and why do I want to touch my toes?" Become curious of your body and its abilities!
Honor the Body, and Explore your Edge:
Honor where your body is at in a given moment in time. Maybe pigeon is not happening today, but will come tomorrow. Functionality over form. This alone will take you into that asana, or pose, that you are practicing towards, and self-acceptance that you seek. Honor your edge. Are you flying in crow pose, but afraid to take the next step to transition into headstand because of fear? Remember, F.E.A.R. is only False Evidence Appearing Real. Place a blanket under your head, make your bolster (pillow) throne, and rock it out!
There is power in the perspective. There is strength in remembering your origin story. And as always..
You are Secure, Supported, and Exactly Where you Need to Be.