Living Your Yoga: Beyond the Mat: “Believe in What You Cannot See!!”

downloadMany of us begin our yoga practice after years of inactivity or as a result of injury, pain or limited mobility. Maybe we turn to yoga for stress relief, to increase our flexibility or offset the hours we spend in front of a computer. Whatever the reason, so many people choose yoga as a form of therapy – to improve themselves in some way. So it’s no surprise that our early days on the mat can sometimes be discouraging or frustrating as we are faced with body positions that seem impossible for our current state of physical fitness.

It’s tough to see what or who we will become – how we will change as a result of our actions.

I remember my early days with yoga and how sore my wrists used to feel in downward facing dog – how it was a struggle to be there for more than a few seconds. The instructor said it would eventually get easier, that my wrists would get used to it and that I would one day appreciate it as a resting place. Hah! I thought, I couldn’t even imagine that. Then, one day, several months later, I was feeling worn out during a particularly difficult flow sequence and I found myself looking forward to down dog, a rest. I’d reached a point in my practice that I thought would never happen!

I was reading  a fellow yoga blogger who was talking about how yoga teaches us to believe in what we cannot see or perceive. If we have been practicing yoga for any length of time we can now see how our bodies have changed, adjusted to the consistent actions we take on the mat. Over the course of a few months, we notice how we’ve become stronger. We move with more fluidity, we can hold challenging poses longer. we can stretch beyond our former limits, maybe touch our toes in forward fold.

When was the last time you stopped to acknowledge how far you’ve come?

We don’t always acknowledge that what was once impossible for us, is now possible.But we should because honoring that gives us the mental power to apply that awareness to other areas of our lives where we find ourselves facing what we think are impossible challenges. When we can’t see ourselves any differently.

The fact that our physical form can and does change if we believe it will is an amazing teacher for our life and our ability to believe in things we can’t see for ourselves. This reminder comes at a very important moment in my blogging career. I would have never thought a year ago, when I opened my WordPress account that I could have written 100 blog posts. That’s a lot of writing for no reason other than a desire to share ideas and maybe help someone else facing similar challenges. When I started, I didn’t think about the number “100.” If I had, that might have stopped me. I just thought, keep going. Write another, and then another. I kept the idea of “what’s next” for the blog in my mind at all times and the ideas for it came to me on a regular basis. All I had to do was sit down at the computer and write them up, one at a time. It’s been a year and 100 blog posts later. I have come to rely on it as an enjoyable place to rest, to sift and filter thoughts about life and goals and making dreams come true.

And that is how the impossible becomes possible –  by implementation of a tried and true formula: Consistent Action in a Singular Direction.

Transformation is a quiet, and somewhat slow process. The work of change happens from the inside out. The more often we show up, the quicker changes happen – once a week, three times a week, or every day actions are going to produce results at a different rate. The more you believe in your ability to grow and change and attain your dreams, the more often you will show up and the faster it will happen. That’s just the way it works.

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