Friday, September 3, 2010

yoga= skill + action. Dont just react choose how to respond!

One thing that was reaffirmed for me over the weekend with john friend was the power of yoga. That what we do on that mat can help us make huge shifts in our life. Our practice can help shift our perspective and gives us tools to not just react and fall into our habits/addictions but instead to choose how we will respond. Yoga helps us make these shifts by fostering awareness, intention, and skill.
We all have tendencies. We all are inclined to react to situations in certain ways. Just think how you react when a car cuts you off…Our reactions are our tendencies which become habits that can become addictions. For example, when you get sad your reaction is to have a cigarette. This reaction soon becomes a habit and the more you do this habit the more likely it is it will turn into an addition. If we cultivate awareness we can notice our tendencies. We can begin to observe that when we get sad our tendency is to have a cigarette. But instead of reacting and going with our tendency we can skillfully choose how we want to respond which can reinforce our intention. Maybe skillful intervention includes taking deep breathes, reciting mantra, going on a walk, journaling...
What is important is that we don’t just throw away the habit; instead we shift the energy so we can turn it into something productive that helps up lift us. That helps make us a better person. Our tendencies are based off a reaction that was triggered by an emotion, which was a reaction to some stimuli. Our tendencies are triggered from these reactions, smoking a cigarette was just one example other include alcohol, over eating, under eating, taking out your emotion out on someone else, self pity/hatred, gambling… The main negative emotions that trigger these tendencies include sadness (I am not good enough), anger (you are different then me) and fear (I want to control everything, and I am afraid of loss). The more we cultivate our awareness the more we will be able to notice when something triggers one of these emotions and then we can start to notice what tendesnisies we have based off these emotions. If we can witness these emotions and learn how to be with them we can shift them with our skill and our intention. Yoga gives us the skills to choose how we respond instead of reacting out of instinct, habit, or addition. When we choose how we respond we can shape our life and use our actions to make us a better person, more generous, more patient, more companionate, more stable, more uplifting, more calm, more grounded….

We can start building our ability to notice our inical reactions and tendencies in our yoga asana practice. What happens when you come into a pose that you are awesome at? What happens in a pose you can’t do the full expression of? What happens in warrior two? What happens in pigeon? What happens when you hold a forward fold for a longer time? If we start to notice the feelings that arise in a pose for example anger, fear, sadness. Then we can begin to follow that emotion and see what tendency it trigger, drifting off with thought so you don’t have to be with it, or facing fire with fire and trying to dominate the pose, telling yourself you suck. When we notice this we can instead of reacting out of our tendency we can choose a different way (love, patience acceptance and compassion). One that helps us shift our life for the better. Our yoga practice allows space for “rocking shits in our self and everyone around us” (JF)
Look at your tendencies:
• Where do you tend to physically place yourself in a yoga room?
• Where does your mind tend to go in each pose?
• How do you tend to react when someone cuts you off in traffic?
• How do you tend to feel when someone says something nice about you?
• What is you reaction when someone you love yells at you?

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Intention and Testimonials

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...