Allow Your Yoga Practice to Change You


I arrive on my mat with a mantra in my mind. "Just because I can doesn't mean I should."
My personal yoga practice has always had arm balances and challenging poses. I perfer my vinyasa flow, fast and hard. I like to leave my mat with fatigued arms and sweat dripping from my body. But lately things have changed for me, my personal practice has become slower and the stretches are deeper. The poses are just as challenging but in a different way. It's not about strength and more about the ability to let go. Which honestly feels harder for me.

An essential part of any yoga practice is Svadhyaya (Self Study). The practice of self study allows the yoga student to have a better understanding of their authentic self. It can be a moment to moment experience whether on your mat or off of it in the real world. The idea is to look at what you are doing, the habits you have created in your life and to observe yourself. Not in a judgemental way! Simply to observe and delve deeper into asking questions of yourself. Why do you behave that way? Why do you seek that response? 

My mantra "Just because I can doesn't mean I should." is helping me observe my yoga practice. Just because I can pop into an arm balance and add challenging poses to my practice doesn't mean I should. Why do I do it? Why am I doing the extra chaterunga? Why am I always looking for an opportunity to balance on my hands? What am I scared of in slowing down my practice? 

As I sit in the seat of observation throughout my personal practice and connect to my mantra I've learned that it's harder for me to slow down because that voice of fear and negativity tends to talk louder in my mind when I'm going slower. It takes greater courage for me to breathe and let my body relax. I encourage you to look at your own personal practice, to observe your life. Why do we keep making the same mistakes? Why do we keep getting hurt by the same people? Slow down, take time to tune into your breath and try sitting in the seat of observation this week. Observe your life and how you are living. Is it leading you to your greater purpose? Are you sharing your authentic self with the world? What can you do to change it?

Try my mantra in your everyday life and see where it leads you."Just because I can doesn't mean I should."