Two weeks ago I said that life IS fair and encouraged us to recognize the patterns that exist in our life that so fairly and so generously give us repeated opportunity for growth.
Last week I said that the life we are living is the life we have created and encouraged us to take ownership for our decisions and acknowledge that with each choice we can either remain loyal to who we want to be, propelled towards the life we imagine, or enslaved to an unconscious reality – a victim of our own behavior.
With all of this talk about life you may have been scratching your head and wondering how all of this relates to my stretch routine 😉 THIS WEEK it’s all coming together.
So let me start with WHAT IS YOGA?
Simply put, Yoga is a tool for FEELING GOOD.
It’s not a religion or a cult. It’s not a group of barefoot hippies in the woods making shapes with their bodies (albeit they can too!) – it is a TOOL for anyone willing to use it.
There is no prerequisite to start, and there is no cap on sharpening the tool.
I think society tends to undersell and downplay the value of FEELING GOOD.
You’ll see the phrase: FEEL GOOD, DO GOOD nearly everywhere in Move Together Yoga. Because it’s true.
When we FEEL GOOD we are more gentle with ourselves.
When we FEEL GOOD we give thanks for what’s in front of us.
When we FEEL GOOD we have new found confidence, we trust our instincts, we set our sights a bit further, we are more likely to pursue our dreams and we have a willingness to think and care beyond ourselves.
When we FEEL GOOD we have more capacity to DO GOOD!
THE RIPPLE TO RAISE THE BAR….
I hope that by now you’ve noticed that I didn’t call this Move Yoga – it’s called Move TOGETHER Yoga.
Because we are in this TOGETHER.
The life that you choose to live and the life that I choose to live both have a massive ripple.
As you prioritize your health and happiness, you give others permission to prioritize theirs.
As you go after your dreams, you give others permission to go after theirs.
As you raise the expectation for yourself, as you operate with character, integrity and courage – even in the midst of hard things – you give others permission to do the same.
Most of the folks on here are adults and we don’t “need” permission, however, our actions create an invitation.
About a year ago I had a focus inspired by the quote: “look at your friends and you’ll see your future”.
Flip the statement. When your friends looks at you do they have anything to look forward to?
Again – I’m on repeat, but when each one of us gives our best to become our best the world most certainly gets better!
Let it be known that Yoga is much more than improved strength, flexibility and mobility. Yoga incorporates movement, meditation, concentration, connection, honesty, and BREATH!
In fact, without breath, Yoga is NOT YOGA – it’s some kind of gentle gymnastics!
In addition to bringing rhythm to the practice and moving energy throughout the body, what breath brings is AWARENESS.
Awareness is one of those words that has begun to penetrate the pop culture without a ton of depth or understanding in its usage.
Instead of giving it a Webster’s definition, I’m going to discuss the repercussions of its absence.
If we’re unaware that we’re holding our breath or that we’re only breathing into our chest, then we’re likely to feel energy depleted.
If we’re unaware of the imbalances in our body, then we’re much more susceptible to injury.
If we’re unaware of our emotions, then we’re going to be trapped in a reactionary state.
If we’re unaware of the opportunities that are available to us, then it’s unlikely that we’ll ever change our behavior.
If we’re unaware of our dreams and our values, then we’re not going to make choices that support the life we want to live.
And if we’re unaware or foggy about what matters to us, about who we want to be, about the life we want to live, then it’s imperative to spend some time tapping in, asking questions and working to answer those questions with the alignment of our senses, feelings, thoughts and intuition.
Our world is a reflection of our heart.
Whatever we want to show up in our life, it has to show up within us first.
We can’t expect to be respected by our peers if we don’t respect ourself.
We can’t expect others to keep their word if we’re flimsy with ours.
We can’t expect to have a healthy relationship with someone else if we don’t have one with ourself.
Yoga is an excellent means for starting to WORK IN.
The concept of working IN is that you are left with MORE energy per unit of time than it costs to do it – in other words, working IN is the fill up and the recharge.
The practice of yoga utilizes repetitive movements that are in time with your breathing to harmonize your biological oscillators (brain, heart, gut).
This harmonization brings you into that feeling of FLOW STATE, that feeling of BEING IN THE ZONE, that feeling that everything is working WITH YOU AND FOR YOU!
Any athletes reading this know exactly what I’m talking about when I say being in the zone.
It’s an unstoppable headspace and a place where we almost transcend the beliefs that we have for ourselves.
Working IN is one of the most powerful ways to enhance your capacity for intuition and creativity.
So when you’re banging your head against the wall, feeling overwhelmed, out of balance, sometimes the best thing to do is step on your mat, state and intention, and start the practice of working IN.
I like to think of the Yoga practice as meditation in motion!
Some people have mastered the art of stillness (not me… yet!) while many need movement to calm their mind.
Lucky for us, the body remembers what the mind forgets.
As we nurture our body, the voice in our head starts to speak with compassion and love.
As we breathe through physical resistance, some of the mental blocks start to dissipate.
And as we flow in and out of twists and turns, we start to find comfort in the midst of chaos.
You may be reading this and thinking “yeah, yeah, yeah, the babbling brook isn’t for me”. Maybe you feel that when you want to get out of your head, you need to go throw some heavy weight around or run 10 miles.
I’m not going to say that that won’t put you in a better mood, because I love doing that myself, but it’s worth recognizing that working OUT will induce a DIFFERENT body response.
WORKING OUT causes an energy resource debt – we’re burning calories, we’re putting our body under *wanted stress, and all of this requires RECOVERY.
Working OUT is so valuable and an absolute necessity for overall health, but what I’m driving home here is the importance of creating BALANCE!
In order to train hard, we have to train soft.
It’s the Yin and the Yang. It’s the masculine and the feminine. It’s the beautiful dichotomy that exists everywhere in life.
If the IN and the OUT are out of balance, you will be too.
If we want to create more energy in our life, we need to be very tuned into our choices.
WILL POWER and WON’T POWER…
We can have a lot of “WILL POWER”, but sometimes we lack the “WON’T POWER”.
Our YES has little to no value until we learn to say NO.
If we are making choices that are NOT affirming the life we want to live, then stepping on our mat is going to give us excellent traction to pivot.
By connecting breath and movement and training the awareness of mind and body, we will realize again and again that the life we are living is the life we have created.
And by acknowledging our position at the helm of our decision making we will unlock the freedom to direct ourselves wherever we choose.
Throughout the practice you are encouraged to LISTEN to your body, to acknowledge where you’re at today, to consider where you might go, and to let the FEELING OF GOODNESS be your North Star.
You will always hear me say that if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.
If you’re wincing through something, back off.
If you’re experiencing pain, do something different.
If you feel yourself losing alignment, reset.
By making these CONSCIOUS decisions to support FEELING GOOD in your practice, you will most certainly start to make the decisions to support FEELING GOOD in your life!
Quick caveat – I am never referencing FEELING GOOD as blissful delusion.
Discomfort feels good.
Doing things that are challenging feels good.
Remaining loyal to who you want to be feels good.
And staying on the course to live the life you imagine FEELS DAMN GOOD!
Working IN to discover what’s within…
So alas! – this week’s focus!
This week, I encourage you to step on your mat and work IN.
Ask the big questions. Dream the big dreams. Approach the hurdles with grace and tenacity.
Your peace, your power, your possibility and your freedom lies within you.
P.S. If you’re not part of Move Together Yoga and you are looking for a place to start – look no further! I offer 1-1 coaching, live classes, recorded classes, a tiered monthly membership and much more!
Don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions!