Stepping in to Change

Change, it occurs in and around us on so many levels.  The most obvious of course is the change that affects our senses and emotions immediately and can make us very uncomfortable along the way.  It is often not long after the uncomfortable period ends that our situation improves and we quickly forget the discomfort.  I liken these changes to our recent emergence from snowhavemercy winter to TGIS (thank God it’s Spring!).

Those who have been on their yoga mat for a while know that the true benefit of our yoga practice is the awareness we reap around the subtle changes that occur in our mind, body and spirit over time.  We also learn to find comfort in that these changes are both substantive and beneficial to us.  Sure, we can also be changed in the blink of an eye as well, and those changes can offer us profound insights and awareness.  For example, an injury or an AHA moment when you hear that one cue that changes an aspect of your practice forever.

Whether obvious or subtle, the changes we experience as a result of our yoga practice translate into our journey off the mat.   During my 200 hour teacher training, an instructor stated to our class quite simply yet profoundly, “We first come to yoga to practice asana and experience the yoga high, and then our life begins to change.”   To add to that point, my own growing pains in the form of injuries and mental frustration have unveiled incredible possibilities in my asana practice and in my life.

We are fortunate to witness the transformation of mankind and nature by way of events the seasons, and the Earth’s churn.    We also know that no enduring change occurs over night; despite appearances…  One day you may find yourself teetering in tripod, and seemingly not long after with coaxing, balancing in crow!  Subsequently, you realize, that each time you inverted, whether in downward facing dog or chaturanga you were preparing to fly and were probably were able to do so long before you actually gave it a go.  Off the mat, fear or uncertainty that may have once plagued you begins to show up as confidence and a sense of inner calm when you relate to yourself, others and situations.

Whether we realize it at the time or not, when we come to the mat, we are stepping in to change.