The good news is, no matter where you are in your quest for your new years resolutions, we can always hit the reset button.
In YogaFit Level 4 we study The Sutras of Patanjali, one of the oldest texts on Yoga Philosophy. One of the key messages discussed surrounds how to find clarity of mind despite the many and constant distractions. It is also in The Sutras, that the idea behind the 8 Limbs of Yoga is first introduced, in particular the yamas and niyamas that we study in our YogaFit Level 2 Training.
The thing is, even after thousands of years the answers are really quite simple. What we’ve really known intrinsically, even if we didn’t have the words for it is what we need to do to be fully present in the moment, to be in-tune with our own true self.
Tapas – Svadyaya – Ishvara Pranidhana
Our last 3 niyamas, or personal code of ethics, do the work, look within, find peace.
When we set goals for ourselves, we also need a road map on how to achieve that goal. We might not have the specific directions (or need them) but in following this simple format we will be surprised at the shifts that start to happen.
Tapas (Discipline): Do you need to wake up earlier in the morning? Do you need the courage to say NO? What changes do you need to make, and then as best as you can stick to it. Part of discipline is often moving through the discomfort to find comfort.
Svadayaya (Self-Study): Read, journal, meditate, take time for reflection, practice Yoga. When we equally focus on self-study, we are able to constantly re-evaluate our goals to our current needs. This allows us to make shifts along the way and to fine-tune while still staying focused.
Ishvara Pranidhana (Surrender): Then let it all go. Yes be disciplined, but if you miss one day (or two or three) hit the reset button and get back on track. For us to fully realize our dreams there must be an element of trust that what we desire most in our hearts will come to us in the perfect time. So yes, while we need discipline and self-study, we equally need surrender, to release our attachment to the outcome and trust in the process.
Learning complex Yoga poses is an exact parallel. Poses like crow (bakasana) or headstand (salamba sirsasana) require strength/flexibility certainly, and if you have the strength to hold crocodile (chaturanga dandasana) you have the strength to hold these poses as well. However, to actually achieve these poses requires the fine-tuning, the dedicated focus and then letting it go. The more we struggle and try to push the pose to happen the more we will continue to fall. In surrendering, we go straight up and just like riding a bike, after that we never forget.
With patience, focus and a dedicated meditation and Yoga practice the possibilities are endless. Open your heart let your inner light shine forth, live your truth.