Yoga is a discipline used by many to quiet the mind, to build strength, to gain mobility, to ease anxiety, to build confidence, to learn grace, or to find calm in a chaotic world. The list is endless, but it all leads back to self-betterment. The work we do on our mats is intended to shape us into whatever we set out to be, and most of the time we end up gaining so much more than our initial intentions.
Movement-based yoga is simply a path to self-betterment when paired with discipline and viewed as a life-long journey. The mind & body crave routine; something upon which they can measure progress. Not just something that is going to have a short term effect, but something that will eventually have a lasting effect on who you are as a person. A carefully sequenced yoga practice paired with intentional deep breath work can give you a relaxed energy to tackle life’s challenges and give the best version of yourself to others.
As the New Year begins thoughts generally drift to resolutions. What will I do to better myself this year? How will I make my resolutions stick? Who can I enlist to help me be successful? What kind of gear do I need?
I challenge you this year to just resolve to be a better person. No matter where you are in life, just make the effort to be better today than you were yesterday. Make an effort to create an awareness of who you are, then take steps necessary to be as present in each moment as you can.
Enjoy one. Single. Thing. At a time.
Just as I encourage students to look at their yoga practice objectively, exploring each posture on each day, I’m encouraging you do to this with your life. Use each day as a measure of how you can be better tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, and so on.
Yoga plays a role in creating a mindful approach to these efforts. For centuries yoga has been used for spiritual, mental and physical health. It has long been believed that the only way to spiritual enlightenment is through an open, resilient body and a clear, quiet mind. Ancient yogis believed this could only be achieved by first opening the body through disciplining it to be flexible and fully mobile. Then proceed to decluttering & relaxing the mind by disciplining it to see the world objectively. Discipline according to Merriam-Webster is “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” In other words to raise moral integrity. To enhance who you are as a person. Self-betterment.