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Do you do triangle the way you do life?

November 29, 2018

My invitation for my yoga classes last week was a simple one: for folks to practice what they want to get better at.  And, no, class wasn’t about Crow pose.  It was about practicing a different way of being with any and every pose that was offered.  


Because the reality is this: most of us do yoga the way we already do life. 


We come to our yoga practice and we end up practicing, reinforcing, and getting better at, our habitual ways of being in the world.  Ways of being that we may not even like very much.  Ways that may not be serving our higher selves or anybody else.


Check it out:


If your habit is to drive yourself hard through life, moving with impatience and even aggression - I’d wager that you tend to drive yourself hard through yoga class.  Impatient.  Aggressive.  Bullying your body into shapes and maneuvers that it isn’t really ready for.  


Do you do yoga the way you do life?


If you habitually half-ass your way down your path, you are probably moving the same way on your mat.  Which reinforces the half-assery that leaves you not quite satisfied with you.  Instead of half your arse, why not bring your whole heart to your yoga?  Whole-heartedness is something we could all stand to get better at.


If you tend to shy away from uncomfortable situations and never really push the edges, you may be shying away from your edge on the mat too, missing out on opportunity after opportunity to evolve, grow, expand.


Maybe you come to yoga class with resentment, sort of like the way you come to a sink full of yesterday’s dishes.  It’s another item on the To Do list, a “should,” a “hafta.”


How often is your yoga reduced to waving your body around over your sticky mat while you mentally re-hash yesterday and rehearse tomorrow?  Auto pilot robs yoga of its potency and transformative power.  In the same way, a lack of presence stops us from making important honest connections with ourselves and others, and certainly sucks the fine and precious rarity out of so many moments of our days.


Do you do yoga the way you do life?


I don’t come to my mat to be moving in the same muddy ruts that I am so often stuck in.  I come to my mat to pull myself out of that mud.  To practice something I’d like to be better at.  Like presence, whole-heartedness, beginner’s mind.  Gratitude.  Joy.  There is a quality of encounter we can have with ourselves as we practice yoga that is directly proportionate to our willingness to be touched by yoga’s influence.  The way we might be touched, if we are willing, by birdsong or sunshine or the emotion in that person’s eyes.  I come to my mat to practice willingness. 


Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that the seeds we cultivate, feed, and water are the ones that are going to flourish and grow.


What seeds are you nurturing with your practice?  What way of being in the world are you getting better at, over there, in your triangle pose?





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