Some days we go to yoga class and the most basic philosophies brightly resonate within. For me, today is one of those days.
We hear things over and over on our yoga journeys and sometimes when we are ready to learn the lesson certain concepts strike specific chords or stand out more clearly.
The concept I would like to share is this, it is not about the poses themselves, but our RELATIONSHIPS to the poses. Many of us have heard this, but how often and how honestly do we really take the time to look within and learn from this?
For example, take chair pose (Utkatasana). What is our relationship with this asana? Do we find ourselves getting angry because it is challenging, judging our alignment, or working so hard that we are holding our breath? Or do we find contentment, peace, and love in the relationship with our chair pose?
Our relationships with our yoga postures are direct reflections of how we deal with our relationships in other areas of our life. This is why the practice on the mat can be so beneficial and powerful. If we put the work in to developing more loving relationships with our asanas, then all aspects of our life will begin to benefit.
As yoga students we all have the desire to progress in the practice in some way. Maybe we want to become more physically flexible or strong, become more spiritual, or maybe we just want to “deepen our practice”.
But deepening the practice doesn’t always mean going physically further. A lot of the work needs to be done by diving deep within the mind, heart, and soul, working thru things and learning to soften. Learning to “uncondition” ourselves. Letting go of what we think is right, to allow more room and space for new learnings. Learning to be more flexible in the mind.
Yoga teachers can watch students “trying” to achieve their maximum potential in their poses as their bodies shake, “trying” to relax deeper as they fidget, or “trying” to focus on their third eye as they furrow their brow. Next time you become aware that you are overly “trying”, explore the concept of softening and relaxing deeper into the relationship.
Find the success and confidence in letting go.
Keep an open heart and beginner’s mind.
Soften. Soften. Soften.
Thank you many teachers.