Maybe you've heard me say it in class, or perhaps seen me write it elsewhere, but sometimes we need to be lovingly reminded...
" Yoga isn't your exercise. Yoga is a really inefficient way to become fit."
Nope, yoga for a tight bum, or six pack won't be hitting my schedule ever! Sorry, not to say that you won't find plenty of hybrid classes elsewhere, trying to give you the best of both worlds from the fitness industry and the yoga industry. I get it, time is short, you don't have time to run, to breathe, to sit, to stretch, to practice yoga, and walk the dog. Why wouldn't Doga be a great way of getting two strikes with one ball? BUT, what if by diligently practicing yoga, you learnt to stretch time, to morph its vice like grip into something more flowing and abundant.
It is yoga's work to reconnect you with the ageless spark of vitality within. When you are tuned in and turned onto your inner zest, you want to eat mindfully and lovingly, you beg to get outside and connected to nature and to validate your sense of aliveness with life affirming activities. Yogis are not afraid of sensations, they are awake to the most subtle perceptions and not intimidated by strong feelings. So they run, they climb, they swim, and they sit, as content with silence and solitude as they are with hustle and bustle. This is what keeps the yogis fit and fully turned on to life and all of its sweet invitations.
Many years of yoga has taught me vital life skills that I use everyday, I still hone them and I still navigate each choice, stimulus and nudge from the universe using the life skills of yoga as a road map through both my external and internal landscape. Some of these are found in Patanjali's Yoga Sutra in the first two of eight limbs of yoga; the yamas and the niyamas. Some are just my own lessons from my mat and life.
- 🌿 KINDNESS - its a universal law that when you are generous with your kindness to yourself, to the planet and to others it is reciprocated.
- 🌿 PATIENCE - a lifetime of practice has taught me to calmly accept 'that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.' *
- 🌿 SELF CARE - learning to check in throughout the day to what it is I feel or need in any moment and acting on that.
- 🌿 INTEGRITY - shining a light into my darkest moments and revealing when my imperfections are at the helm or when my highest self is driving.
- 🌿 SENSITIVITY - awake to most subtle of indicators, the whispered intuitive internal or universal signs.
- 🌿 SELF BELIEF - knowing, really knowing we are doing the work, and that those we love and the universe has our back and we are VERY capable.
- 🌿 GRATITIUDE - consciously aligning ourselves with the practice of being thankful. Alert to each thoughtful moment, each opportunity, each gift.
- 🌿 CONTENTMENT - practicing the neuroplasticity of happiness. Honouring the practice of 'glass half full'.
- 🌿 AWARENESS - having the light of conscious awareness is like having control of an enormous stage light that you can shine into life, the body and the internal environment to really SEE what is occurring in any moment. If mindfulness is the practice of knowing the mind, awareness is the art of knowing all aspects of yourself in any moment.
- 🌿 FOCUS - honing the power of focus is vital in these times. Consumerism, technology and psychology are constantly hacking our most base instincts and disempowering our capacity to really concentrate for long periods of time. Yoga will rewire your brain and allow you to become seduced by the magic of your own body and to relearn our capacity to focus.
- 🌿 FLOW - surrending with a sense of trust that we don't have to micromanage life or others. Trusting that there is ENOUGH, time, love, abundance, knowledge and support. When I know that I am doing my bit by practicing all the life skills that yoga gives me space to remember, then, oh yes, then, in that letting go, there is such joy and relief. The stuff of life can just flow effortlessly, steered lightly and lovingly by me.
Has yoga taught you different skills that you utilise in your everyday? Please let me know so I can add them to my list.
* David G Allen