There are very few things in life that are true. One person’s truth about a situation can be wildly different than another person’s truth about that same situation due to perception, past situations, and held beliefs.
I am a big fan of the truth. But I also take what others tell me with a grain of salt when they tell me their truth. It is their truth. They might not be able to see that the truth will be different for others. I could tell you it was the best yoga class ever, but that might not be the truth for the yogi on the mat next to me. I could even tell you that it didn’t feel that hot at the studio today, but someone else in the same class could have felt like it was an inferno. Perception is everything.
The things in life that are absolutely true are simple:
Your feelings. (They are your feelings after all. They are as true for you as anything else no matter what another’s opinion on them might be.)
Your relationship with God/Universe. (That’s your relationship and though it may change and evolve like many things in life. It is the very essence of your Truth)
Friendship. (A relationship that is supportive and encouraging. Mistakes are forgiven. They know you and love you. They would never harm you intentionally in any way.)
Love. (The ultimate Truth.)
Yoga Postures. (Yes, Yoga Postures.)
I know the last one on the list is odd, but there is no hiding from the truth in a yoga asana practice. You can either hold a posture or not. You can either grab your heels in Camel Pose or you are not ready for it yet. You can be open to believing that the body can actually change for the better or stay stuck in a posture for years because you never reach for the next step. I could go on, but I know you get it yogis.
A yoga practice is more about improving the body. It’s about recognizing what is holding us back from our Truth. By the time we find ourselves on a mat in a hot room sweating buckets of sweat, we more than likely have bought into some thoughts about our Self that are just not the truth.
It could be anything from, “I’m not flexible and never have been,” to, “I am hard to love.” For some reason, we decide to believe things that other people have told us about us for too long. The yoga is here to test those beliefs and help you go beyond them. Maybe even get rid of them.
So often, I have a student confess that they are scared to go to the next step in a posture. That the feeling of fear is overwhelming and makes them stop.
“Isn’t that cool?” I respond.
They always look at me like I’m a little touched or have been in the heat too long. So I explain, “You know what fear actually feels like in a safe space. You’ll start to become friends with it and be able to work with it over time. When you feel fear outside of your practice, you will then be able to assess whether the fear is holding you back or truly there to protect you. It’s cool. No other ‘workout’ is going to do that for you.”
Usually, they respond with a, “That is kind of cool!” because, let’s face it, it is.
Your yoga practice will teach you many things about your Self. Your stamina, control, balance, focus, determination, how to bust through comfort zones, how to breathe and relax through discomfort, and how to become stronger and more flexible in the studio and in your life, as well. But more than anything it will teach you the Truth about your Self and your life and I believe there is nothing more powerful than that.
So, what are you waiting for? Get to class!
Originally posted to viewsfromthepodium.com on October 10, 2017