When we think of yoga in the western world, we often think about the postures or swamis sitting and meditating in ashrams in the east. Neither of these ideas are necessarily wrong, but what yoga really is in practice is being fully aware of and connected to oneself. So, I humbly come to ask you …. what self are you looking at and connecting to each time you practice and each day?
Ultimately yoga can be practices on or off of a mat, inside or outside of a studio, at home, on the street or even in a busy transit center. So when you’re connecting to “yourself,” are you connecting to the person of your past, to the present without the past, or your future?
They systemic traditional practice of yoga is a form of practice that helps you deal with, observe, and become aware of yourself by using a system of observations (yamas, niyamas), posture, breath, sensory control, focus and meditation we achieve true samadhi or connection, bliss and awareness. The beginning practitioner often doesn’t make it this far however, as they get stuck in a fight or flight mode of judgement, panic, concern, objectification, distraction, attachment and beyond. As the practitioner continues on, they are able to get our of the fight or flight and start to truly feel and observe via the limbic system activation, which really lets us process things that keep us from the present like worry and fear from the past or regarding the future. Only once we deal with all of that and become aware of it, are we able to get to the true youness yoga seeks to provide.
The non-mat based yoga practices include mindful awareness, epigentics, quantum creating, the art of presence and moments of pure joy and absorption into the present (heart coherence). These methods deal with awareness of the stories we create and repeat on a daily basis, the choice of what we want to be, the understanding of our own potential energy at any given moment and pure liberation of that energy via presence and heart coherence.
Your mind and body are shaped by your experiences, so when you set your intentions and you show up and are present…are you being simply YOU or are you bringing your biases and past experiences into the present?
To truly be immersed with yourself, we have to go beyond our traumas and stress and be perfectly present in the moment, allowing yourself to be limitless and pure potential energy. To practice yoga it to pare away the samskaras or mind chatter and set pathways, or previous engrained neural networks, of what we have been to open up to possibility and what we can be at any given moment.
We can then use the moment of pure potential to create our future and recreate ourselves into whatever that pure version of ourselves truly manifests as.
So in review ask yourself:
When you practice on the mat, where is your mind? What tone do you take with yourself? What are you connecting with?
When you’re off of your mat, where is your mind? Do you use the past to make excuses for your present? Do you spend your days focusing on the what ifs of your future? What emotions are you entertaining?
Do you like how you feel on a daily basis? Do you feel like yourself?
What do you want to feel like on a daily basis? Can you connect with this feeling somewhere inside of yourself and keep your awareness focused on that part of you to help it grow into your moment to moment being?