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Yoga for Transition & Transformation

Yoga for Transition & Transformation

Transitions are part of life and the change of seasons is a perfect time to focus on transitions and transform your life. When we tap into the essence of the season and align ourselves with nature, we can create lasting change. Now that you’re in week two of the Pre-Holiday Challenge, we hope you’re feeling stronger and determined to stay the course.

Accessing the wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and applying it to your own patterns is a powerful way to intensify your commitment. One way we tend to get stuck is through settling into negative thought patterns and daily habits. Recognizing your tendency to become mired in the “I can’t” or “if only I didn’t” type mentality is the first step to rewire your brain for the positive and create space to manifest the life you desire.

Yoga Sutra II: 33 states: vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam

If you don’t know Sanskrit, here is a popular translation: “When negative thoughts present themselves, cultivate and think the opposite thoughts with feeling.”  Pratipaksha means “opposite” and bhavana means “cultivation.” Implementing this philosophy into your yoga practice and your daily life will alter your outlook and help turn a pessimistic viewpoint into a more optimistic one.

It sounds simple, right? Just replace those negative thoughts with positive ones and boom—transformation. Well…not exactly. Like all worthy pursuits, this practice takes time and effort. We discussed tapas or discipline last week and you’ll need to tap into your inner fire here too. The first step to change is recognizing when these unkind or negative thoughts arise. Pause, acknowledge where your mind went and then purposefully replace or reframe.

Here’s an example: You’re taking a yoga class and the teacher introduces the one yoga pose you despise. You know the one, where you sit back on your heels and take a drink of water and avoid trying? Thought number one: I’ll never be able to do this pose, my body just can’t because my hamstrings are too tight or my arms are too short. Can you reframe that negative concept into something more positive? Perhaps if I use a block or a strap, I can perform the modified pose and if I’m persistent, I’ll create the right amount of change for me. Or, maybe this pose isn’t inherently evil because I dislike it; maybe it’s exactly what I need today. I’m doing the best I can.

Pratipaksha bhavana also works especially well in a meditation practice to help you retrain your thought patterns. If you automatically assume you can’t meditate because you feel distracted, give yourself a break and try again. Just like the 21-day challenge, experts claim it takes three weeks to cement a new habit. Try replacing the negative with the positive, starting now. Use the power of the changing seasons to boost your efforts: change is good!

To help you in your road to transformation, we’ve got four inspiring new classes this week.

1. Christen Bakken - Slower & Deeper : A Gentle Vinyasa Flow

2. Maria Garre - Balancing the Winds : Grounding Vata Dosha

3. Denelle Numis - Lunar Flow : Easing into Evening

4. Pradeep Teotia - Practice with Grace

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