Yoga - How Cultivating Presence Helps Us Change Our LivesOct 28, 2022
Written by Julia Jonson
A teacher once said that meditation is like being locked in a closet with a maniac. Haha! The struggle is real! Our minds require a great deal of patience to train, don’t they!
The practice of yoga - both the physical practice and the philosophical wisdom - offer us an incredible opportunity to change our lives. From cultivating presence and awareness, to maintaining new habits… below I share more about how the magic of yoga actually works!
Presence & Awareness
Yoga poses provide us with the right circumstances for learning how to be present and aware. In a yoga asana class - keeping our spines, hips, and shoulders aligned, our feet and hands in the right place, while breathing and paying attention to our gaze, fosters presence. As we practice on the mat, the presence we gain during class carries over into our daily lives.
Choosing Different Thoughts
Yoga is a healthy habit for our bodies, and it also helps us to navigate the rocky terrain of our minds. Practice time might cause us to reflect on regrets about the past, harsh thoughts we hold about ourselves, or an imagined future with all its looming problems. By having the awareness of what's going on in our heads, we can choose to stop operating on autopilot. One step at a time, we can begin to change our thoughts!
Forming & Maintaining New Habits
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits says, “All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.”
Forming new habits, like becoming quiet and paying attention to our inner world, takes a lot of patience and compassion (yoga’s 1st yama - ahimsa) and also discipline (yoga’s 3rd niyama - tapas).
Yogapedia describes, “Tapas are spiritual practices that often involve a high degree of self-discipline, solitude, and periods of deep meditation. The word comes from the Sanskrit root word tap, which means to be hot. This relates the word to the concept of spiritual rebirth and the inner fire needed to achieve it.” Disciplined, spiritual yoga practice can be one type of tapas. And this is what we offer at TBY Yoga!
We hope you will join us for our Saturday 9:30am Restorative & Gentle class. It’s the perfect addition to any self-care routine and a gentle, meditative way to learn more about your body and mind, and the connection between the two.