It is easy to get caught in the trap of perfecting ourselves through food. We search for the perfect diet, the one super food, the best antioxidant and the combination of supplements that we hope will make us better, healthier, happier, and more‘perfect’.
The magical stories you have heard about yoga are true. Yoga can be a magnet for the things you dream of.
Unfortunately, it is not a fairy dust you can sprinkle on your mat. The shifts do not come overnight. And, you cannot simply mutter a Sanskrit mantra for your hopes to manifest. It is a journey of work, of love, and of intense self-reflection. It takes "tapas" - the yogic ethical concept of discipline and austerity.
For many people yoga is nothing more than a fancy workout, or maybe a few calm moments of de-stressing or elaborate stretching. However, yoga is much more. It is a science, a wellness system, a lifestyle, a philosophy, and more than anything a path to clarity and joy. The beauty of yoga is that it is flexible to your life and needs. There is as infinite number of ways to practice as there are ways to interpret the meaning of the word.
Though I try to remain positive in my yoga classes and in my writing, there are times when, honestly, I just feel out of whack and a bit grumpy or down in the dumps. Sometimes it's stress, sometimes it's current events, and sometimes it’s the energy of the people I encounter during the day. When I get sad, I like to curl up and throw myself a pity party or stew about it for awhile. But this is not beneficial, not for more than about two minutes, and then it just becomes a bad or stuck habit. For me, one of the very best things I can do to change my perspective or sort through a difficult situation is come to yoga with an intention to detox (aka - work through the crap), and send it out (figuratively and literally). At the beginning, I can often feel very uninspired. In the middle, I start to feel myself opening up. And by the end, I feel that I have renewed myself and become a bit more authentic again.
Recently I attended a commitment seminar (Landmark Forum), and we were asked to make a list of what we are committed to in our lives. "Easy enough," I thought, so I wrote down things like, health, yoga, teaching, being a good wife, love, contentment, learning, saving money, and a few others.