“If you want to change you have to be willing to be uncomfortable.”
Are you ready to push through your personal boundaries and use your yoga practice to expand and evolve physically, emotionally, and mentally? On the yoga mat and off, we tend to slip into comfortable patterns. Consistency is something to strive for, but it can be a slippery slope and if we aren’t paying attention we can end up in a rut. Here’s how yoga can help you continue to evolve:
Yoga for Physical Growth: On the most obvious level, a well-rounded yoga practice will help you develop stronger muscles, a more supple spine, and improve joint mobility. Yoga improves your posture so you’re literally standing taller. If you’re always doing the same yoga class or same series of asanas, you may not be continuing to progress. This week, step out of your customary routine and try something new and see how that impacts you physically––you might be surprised!
Yoga for Emotional Evolution: We store emotions, especially past trauma and stress, in our bodies. When we practice yoga and meditation, these feelings rise to the surface and sometimes surprise us when we burst into tears or have flashbacks to emotions we may have buried in “the vault.” We’ve all had difficult times we tuck away and promise we’ll deal with later, but never do. Those emotions remain stored in our tissues unless we work to release them.
If you’ve spent five minutes per hip in Sleeping Swan (Half-pigeon) during a Yin class, you’re probably nodding your head right now. After a while, if you’re merely repeating the same practices, you may no longer be accessing those deeper emotions and continuing to evolve. Try one of this week’s new classes, one that is out of your comfort zone, and see if it reignites your emotional growth.
Yoga for Mental Expansion: According to the Yoga Sutras, yoga is a path toward developing a higher level of consciousness by creating a calm, clear mind. This yogic journey isn’t an easy one and it takes willpower and discipline to learn to filter out distractions and focus on what truly matters to us. What the expansion looks like is up to you but it’s important to get uncomfortable––meditate for longer, try a sound healing or chanting mantras, work on asanas that scare you (safely, of course). In other words, do something that you think you can’t do––you may surprise yourself and boost your confidence when you do.
Change doesn’t have to be dramatic to be impactful. Small tweaks can have as much influence as intense moves in creating a shift in your body, heart, and mind. This week’s classes are designed to give you an avenue into something new and exciting. Check them out!
Ben Davis - Fitness 'n' Yoga: Evolving Flow
Dana Smith - Shifting Paradigms
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