Monday, February 15, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

What is currently most intriguing about yoga to me is the fact that in each moment there are always two choices…and just like everything else in yoga, this idea transfers to life as well. Each time you’re in a situation you have a choice, you cannot choose the situation or choose how the people around you act, but you can choose how you react.

If you’re in a difficult pose, you can choose peace or panic. With each breath you dial down or you dial up, choosing to react to the sensation with a rising panic, creating a story about how difficult it is, or you dial down, choosing peace, relaxing into the uncomfortable situation and reaching new grounds in your spirituality. Being present is the number one lesson of yoga and in these moments we choose presence or we choose to run away. I’m trying, really I am, but choosing presence is hard. There is a sort of letting go involved. You have to let go of your ego and all the stories that create who you are. You have to learn to just be, with no descriptors, no anguish, just be who you are in that moment and choose to deal with the situation and move on when it is time.

The same is true in life. When we are forced to deal with uncomfortable situations we can look at these as an opportunity to grow, rather than an opportunity to pit ourselves against whomever (or the world) and elaborate on the story of ourselves. We choose instead love over anger and forgiveness over condemnation. We can choose peace or panic in each moment. Now all of this is way eaiser said than done, but it rings so true for me. We constantly create our story and see ourselves as stronger or weaker, as a winner or a loser. We choose to forgive for selfish reasons, to be the bigger person. Some things hurt so much we can’t let go and we choose to see ourselves as a victim. All of these are hurting only ourselves. It’s great to know all this stuff intellectually, but how to we put that into practice?

Most teachers would answer , yoga. That is how you put it into practice. Yoga, especially power yoga, forces you to be in your body, in the moment. It’s hard to think about all your troubles when your body is pushed to its limits. That’s why yoga is called a practice. Not only for body, but even more so for the mind. The mind learns to be patient and to focus. I’ve come to learn that this journey will not be easy. We are trained to run away from truth and to continue to build a mask for ourselves. Yoga forces you to be aware of who you are, truthfully.

I realize that I will have to practice meditation. This is soooo hard for me. It’s very hard for me to quiet my brain and I find this practice far more difficult than the yoga practice. If you quiet your mind who knows what miserable and/or wonderful things could be hiding there. It’s so much easier to hide behind our story and to create problems that define who we are.

And pose of the day!
Sirsasana or Headstand

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