As a yoga teacher, student, and lover, I often see a lot of rules, restrictions, and limitations presented during classes and even in my own practice. Since yoga comes form the word “yoke” which means “union”, it seems a little counterintuitive to limit and restrict our practice with rules, but even when we have the best of intentions, it can happen.
I first noticed it during training, when I went to take and observe a variety of styles. Some teachers were very open to students modifying their poses, while others wanted everyone in the exact same alignment or level, which just wasn’t always possible. As a student, and while watching and teaching students, I often see it on that end as well. A student goes for more, even when it is so wrong for their body, just because a teacher gave it as an instruction.
Rather than listening to our bodies and our hearts, we let our minds take over, overthink the pose, and allow our ego to run the show. And that’s when we stop actually practicing yoga, we stop finding union, and we lose that little spark that yoga can offer.
This happens in other forms of movement and workouts as well. We stop paying attention to what our body needs, we get stagnant, and we accidentally cut ourselves off from all the goodness we could be getting. I noticed myself doing this in my practice by wither pushing, or just doing the same thing over and over again I wasn’t seeing any physical benefits, was bored, and needed to spice things up a bit.
I decided to drop the rule that I had to do more, had to do less or had to do anything at all. I had to stop labeling my practice and just let it evolve as it needed to. My practice shifted and I suddenly found the physical and mental challenge I craved, without doing too much different, just allowing it to evolve and grow as it needed. All I did was add a simple tweak to each pose, just enough to keep me centered, challenged, and focused.
You can find my latest practice, along with some tweaks on MindBodyGreen, where I share a few
ways to spark your practice, or perhaps start a new one. I challenge you to give it a try and make it your own.
How do you currently feel stuck in your yoga, your workout, or your movement practice? Leave a comment below with one way you can change it to find more benefits.
If you are looking to spice up your movements, but also your food, relationships, career, and more, make sure you check out the 6 Pillars Videos and the Flourish Lifestyle Course, now open for registration.