Is Your Yoga Working For You?
Yoga doesn't have to be a rigid "because-my-guru-said-so" kind of thing. Yoga can be the experience of you, that gives exactly what you need, in each moment of your life. You can change your yoga to change your life.
How? Well, as a start, check in on your yoga. Is it working? Are you healthier? Are you moving more easily in your body, in your relationships, in your life? Are you strong, calm and ridiculously happy?
You're the best person in the world to ask these questions, and to answer them honestly. If your yoga isn't working for you, you're also the best person to change it. You don't need to conclude that it doesn't create concrete changes, and as a result retreat to yoga as just a hiding place from challenge. You don't need to give up on yoga, and you don't need to give up on you.
Process improvement is a normal part of the work world. We're always defining aims, measuring and assessing outcomes, making improvements, and figuring out how we can sustain those improvements. You can refine your yoga in the same way.
Tune up: Turn your yoga inside-out.
When the way someone practices yoga isn't working, what I often see is a retreat back to stressing and pushing and struggling through the poses. It doesn't feel good, so people disconnect from feeling, and push on through the pain. This is the same stress and push and struggle that brought people to yoga in the first place. But without a path to improvement, it might seem the only option is to keep on doing what we do in the rest of our life.
It's easy to let your yoga be what you already do well, which for a lot of us is doing hard things the hard way. It's easy for yoga to become the same outside-in habit of pushing to be someone else's shape and live by someone else's rules. But yoga can also be practice time for doing things differently. It can be practice time for how you want to live your life. You can do this by turning your yoga inside-out.
When you're going through your yoga tune-up, try aiming for feeling, not for poses. Feel into all of you, every inch you can move through, in every direction you can move. Get into your body. Get into you. If you aim for feeling over posing, the poses get easier. Life gets easier too.
If you see changing your yoga — making it your own — as possible, then every door opens for you. You can change how you yoga in an instant. It takes a willingness to feel, and the courage to respond to what you feel in your own way. This is practice for intuition, for creativity, and for becoming the leader in your own life. You only need to see that it's possible, and make what you want of it.
Make what you want of your yoga, and you'll make what you want of your life.
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