“Illuminated emancipation, freedom, unalloyed and untainted bliss await you, but you have to choose to embark on the inward Journey to discover it.” ~ BKS Iyengar
January is a traditional time where we make resolutions and dedications to how we would like to change, advance, and better ourselves. Often, we commit ourselves to making healthier lifestyle choices, or choosing new mantras by which to live. This year, I decided to embrace change a little differently. Instead of making a resolution or creating an intention, I am playing with the idea of what I want to bring forward and continue.
I began my yoga practice about 18 years ago. Back then; I started simply by adding yoga into my work out regime. The stretch was pivotal for my body and transformative for my digestive issues. I never feared one pose, one challenge, or the unknown. But as time passed, life challenges were greater and inevitably, the amount of fear I attached to it all increased. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much fear I was carrying around with me. It wasn’t only fear about my practice not excelling, but now that fear was manifesting itself into other areas of my life…limiting me from getting what I want.
So, as my practice has evolved and taught me to release fear and embrace change, I recognize what I need to continue bringing into this year with me. Simply put, a commitment to my yoga practice. With this regularity and connection to my body, everyday I am able to release some fear. There is no change with fear in the way. There is no growth without change. And there is no better way I know to be the best self you can be without a committed practice.
Generally, we do not pay attention to the correct method of standing let alone, understanding what attachment issues may be trapped in our bodies. If our body weight is thrown only into the heels, we experience a gravity change; the hips become loose, the abdomen protrudes, the spine feels strained and consequently we soon feel fatigued…allowing prohibitive thoughts of fear to enter and leave its impression. However, when I stand tall, balanced, with my internal light ignited and turned on, I am a different energy. With this energy, I feel confident, ready to face fear with an internal strength to get over each hurdle more gracefully and confidently.
This New Year, I remain committed to my practice for 2018. A different practice this year however. One that is mindful of the body trauma I have endured and acknowledging how it has all contributed to fear, anxiety and insecurity. As I slowly release the fear of pain, injury, and criticism, I am freed in my mind. When I take to my mat and fly through a vinyasa (a “flow sequence”) or practice longer holds in each variation, I can physically feel the magic working on my body. When I experience inner physical strength the confidence in my body helps my mind transform fear. This New Year, I hope to practice for the benefits of change as I detach from fear.