If you are human, you have probably run into your fair share of frustration, challenges, and need for re-evaluation. Yoga offers us a chance to get out of our heads and shake up our perspective. In fact, there is a reason we stand on our heads! Trendy yoga poses aside, our practice is what helps us change the way we see things on and off the mat.
Take a deep breath
All of my classes begin with breath. This serves a purpose far beyond physicality. In Sanskrit the practice of breathing is pranayam or pranayama. Prana means life energy and ayama means extending or stretching. Thus pranayam roughly translates to mean the control of energy. It is a way for us to abandon all the external distractions and actually choose the state in which we would like to exist. A handy tool that we can apply off the mat as well. The very simple act of stopping, closing the eyes, and taking a breath has a powerful effect on how we respond to the things we cannot control.
Asana or yoga poses, is perhaps the most well known limb of yoga. Asana serves as a tool to re-direct negativity and change perspective. When we move our bodies into various shapes, we discover what we are made of. We explore our strengths and our challenges from the inside out. If you practice yoga, you have probably had at least one moment when you find yourself in a pose that you didn’t imagine possible. For example when realising your fingertips are just a fraction closer to those toes of yours in a forward fold. The real treat is when you pause to occupy that space and take a look around for the first time. A whole new perspective becomes available.
Off the mat
So the next time you are stuck or frustrated, recall what you cultivate on your mat. The sensation of a deep breath and finding something new in unexpected places has a powerful way of rearranging the way we see the things that bothered us before.