I spent this last weekend gone training a group of Yoga Teachers, some of whom heralded from as far away as Edmonton and some as close by as Lantzville itself. I have always found it a curiosity seeing the diversity in teaching styles that emerges along the training path of these many teachers. But more so, I have found it a joy to watch the way in which these teachers change as people along the path.
During the practical teaching component of this weekend, one of the teachers in training pointed out that every time one practices yoga it is an opportunity to reshape the body. This is very true. But deeper and more important than this, every time one practices yoga, it is an opportunity to reshape the small, egoic self, and all it entails, from the inside out.
You see, all that we experience, changes us. All that we believe, we become. If we hold on to or push away the experiences of our lives, they become Samaskaric ruts that push and pull our minds and bodies into rigid shapes. The more we concretize these experiences and beliefs with repetition, the more they reinforce these rigid patterns within our bodies and minds.
But every time we come unto our mats, unto our meditation cushions, we have the opportunity to change this. We have the opportunity to release mentally and physically, to allow our egoic self to become as fluid and strong as our Higher Self, as our True nature.
To use the opportunities that we are offered on our mat or cushion, we must first choose to be present within our practice, mindful of our smaller, egoic selves. When we come to our place of practice, we must bring our awareness to our thoughts and our beliefs, to where we hold our physical selves tight and rigid, unwilling in our current life to let go, despite the truth that this holding on brings us not joy, but suffering. For only when we chose to be conscious of it all, can we affect real change.
Come to your mat or cushion consistently. Come to it as a practice of self study, self knowing, and self care. Your yoga practice will support your growth physically and spiritually in life. And the more you come back to your mat or cushion, the more you will find that the support each and every one of us seeks, is always there within.
Kavita Maharaj is the owner of Red Door Yoga® and the director of The Red Door Yoga School® in Lantzville. She can be reached at 250-390-9367 or through www.reddooryoga.ca for questions