Boom! it’s a biggie, after a 5 month hiatus I thought a blog post was long overdue, and what better way to come back to the blog than with a very personal and bold statement!
People always ask me ‘so what is it with Yoga??’ oh man, if you need to ask then you need to get on the mat….yoga is 99% practice, 1 % theory (quote from Sri.K Pattabi Jois)
It’s an experiential thing, and to start, we start with the asana, the physical practice…of course. But then, once you sweated and huffed (yes Monday night crew I’m talking about you!!!) your way through the asana, you take a well deserved shavasana, and hopefully, after this (if I’ve done my job well) you experience a moment or moments of calm clarity…that my dear reader, is YOGA.
After you experience this, you may keep coming back to an asana practice, finding that the sitting and being present at the end of class is the thing that is really helping you mentally. I believe this is the thing that people return to class for, even if they don’t realise this to start with. Of course we have physical benefits from a regular asana practice, but you could get such results in any form of exercise, it’s the brain that is the big winner in yoga.
This brings me to my main point of today’s rambling, how yoga has changed my perspective, how, after many years of practice I believe yoga has helped me become a more positive person. Positive in my outlook to life and myself. And this is why I often state ‘yoga changed my life’
I wasn’t always negative, or riddled with self-hatred, but as we all know life throws us curve balls and they have an impact on how we view ourselves and the world…and for a while, I was stuck in a rut of self loathing and negative thoughts, I won’t go into detail here on why I had such a hard few years, and almost it is a moot point, as I’m trying to explain how yoga has helped me, and can help YOU regardless of the reason you might not be floating on a wave of positive thoughts right now.
Yoga, and of course meditation, helps put things in perspective. Being present is a wonderful tool. Accepting where you are right here, right now is the greatest gift I’ve learnt.
I’ve learnt to ACCEPT myself. And in turn, change my whole life perspective….this ability to see things how they really are (Vipassana) is a wonderful trait in humans, and it could literally change the world. Sadly it’s not that easy. So, if you can’t change the world, change yourself.
Start by accepting what you cannot change, and changing what you can. You can improve your mental and physical health by improving your diet (eat more veg! eat less animal products, cut out all processed foods and SUGAR) and starting an exercise regime (it doesn’t have to be yoga) you can start a simple meditation practice – simple guide here
You can edit out things and people from your life ‘who no longer serve you’ change your job, move, all these practical things can help, but for the things you can’t change you need to change your perspective…
I try to start each day with a yoga practice, followed by some mediation and some positive ‘affirmations’ being grateful for at least two things each morning, even so simple as ‘I am still alive’ ‘I am loved’ ‘I have a roof over my head’ etc…and every time you have negative thoughts, try to spin it so that you find some kind of positive in every situation.
You see dwelling in negativity is a selfish way to live…oh poor you, poor me, I want, I need, I don’t look like this, I don’t have this…it’s all so egotistical and self-absorbed.
Start becoming grateful for what you DO have – even if it’s as simple as breath, you are breathing, rejoice in that!
I promise you, that if you try to live this way and change your perspective, your life will feel better, you will FEEL richer, more fulfilled and content.
Of course, it’s always a work in progress, sometimes I get the blues, but I snap out of it pretty quickly nowadays…remember as Pattabi also wisely said…Practice, and ALL is coming
love and light x