"Yoga, as a way of life and a philosophy, can be practised by anyone with inclination to undertake it, for yoga belongs to humanity as a whole. It is not the property of any one group or any one individual, but can be followed by any and all, in any corner of the globe, regardless of class, creed or religion."
- Sri K Pattabhi Jois
We could come to our mats with the picture of how we should look in a pose. Before we know it, we can become caught up in images of how the practice should be and expectations we put on ourselves.
Alternatively, we could come to our mats willing to be with things just as they are.
In yoga, we learn that this process of allowing opens us to an ease that comes from not forcing anything and a happiness of being connected to what is right here and right now.
What if we approach our practice and in life with an intention of allowing? What if we simply trust that everything will work out, even if we’re not the ones to handle it all?
Allow things to unfold as they will both on our mats and in general. Surrender and enjoy what matters most. Start today!
It takes a lot of awareness to make a different choice than our normal pattern. However, it is worth being aware and making the decision, because we’re creating the opportunity in our daily life to make a different choice too!
Don’t worry if we are not able to do all the poses in a class. Yoga is also about knowing when to back off, and maybe even more about our attitude towards a pose than about the actual form of the pose.
Enjoy learning about ourselves and allowing ourselves to change. Learn how to make different choices in our yoga practice, and after that, in our lives.
Try using our asana practice to revitalise our connection to the earth.
Pay more attention to the tactile sensations of the floor/earth supporting us.
In standing poses, take note as the mounds and curves of our feet alternately touch or lift away from the floor.
When lying down, observe the long plane of our back invisibly conforming to the mat. Sense that our bones are like extensions of the earth. Sink deep into the earth, letting our body/organs grow passive and heavy.
Share your experience as something new may rise into our awareness.
As we endeavour to find personal fulfillment and realise our individual ideals, we naturally form emotional attachments to those outcomes. These expectations can serve as a source of stability, allowing us to draft plans based on our visions of the future. However, they can also limit our potential for happiness by blinding us to equally satisfying, yet unexpected outcomes. Instead of taking pleasure in the surprising circumstances unfolding around us, we mourn for the anticipation left unfulfilled.
When we think of letting go of our expectations, we may find ourselves at the mercy of a small inner voice that admonishes us to strive for specific goals, even if they continually elude us.
Opposite of expectation is not pessimism. We can retain our optimism and free ourselves from the need to focus on specific probabilities by opening our hearts and minds to a wide variety of possible outcomes.
Try this on the mat!
Desire is an intense craving for something. If we permit attachment, it will in time grow into controlling addiction. This is the path to loss of freedom, to enslavement.
Not only would we lose our freedom through desire, we also lose our rational faculty. We would respond with the ultimate irrationality: anger. Frenzied anger or fury completely annihilates our good sense and reason.