What Yoga Is REALLY There to Teach Us

P1040991bwMany people think that yoga is about the physical postures.  They jump around the mat, striving to achieve the “perfect” pose with equal parts athleticism and Cirque du Soleil flair.

They are wrong.

There is a saying out there that goes something like this:

“The pose begins the moment you want to leave it.”

I’m here to report that our yoga practice is NOT about achieving any particular greatness in a posture.  No, our yoga practice begins the moment we struggle, can’t do something, or even fall out of a pose.  That’s the real yoga.  How do we meet these challenges?  How do we react when tested by fear, tension, or stress?

The funny thing about the asana practice is that it shows us a lot about ourselves if only we care to look.  Everything that happens on the mat is a microcosm for life off of the mat.  How you face (and overcome) those obstacles that show up in your practice is generally how you will face and overcome every obstacle.  Knowing this, we can then use our experience on the mat to reprogram ourselves for life.

Yesterday I was dealt some really frustrating news.  Something I have worked hard for is just not meant to be at this moment in time.  The old me – the me prior to yoga – would have spiraled into a really dark place (not to mention a tub of Haagan Dazs) and stayed there for days.  With yoga, however, I feel I have gained a clarity of vision I never had before.  This setback is just a minor blip on the radar.  Truly, it only holds the power I choose to give it.  In the meantime, I will continue to apply myself, work hard, and remain positive.  Just like standing up from a backbend, this too I can overcome.

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