Preparing For (A) Fall in Yoga
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi
It is now officially Fall when we prepare our homes and ourselves for the winter months ahead. How can yoga help? As yogis, we know how yoga can help us physically, mentally and spiritually (see Discover Yoga). As we dive deeper into our practice, we invite ourselves to change with it. Sometimes, these changes are not what we expect. Often times, being open to change can also lead us down the path of pain, disappointment, and rejection. It far more comfortable shut ourselves away from people and situations outside our comfort zone, staying in our little hobbit holes of complacency. Yet when you are stagnant in one place, negative feelings will eventually percolate and bubble over. How long can you be ignored, marginalized, and taken advantage of before you become bitter, depressed, and robotic? I always tell my students who are new to yoga that the hardest poses they will do is centering at the beginning of class and savasana at the end because in these poses you are forced to be quiet and to look within.
So how can yoga prepare you for what lies ahead?
First, it is helpful to know that you are not alone. In this age of social media, there is always someone or some group out there who you can connect with (in a safe way of course). Isn't it true that being anonymous is so much more freeing than being face to face? Just remember to use common sense when posting, getting and listening to advice.
Second, change isn't all bad. You can always take "baby steps" if the change is within your control, go with your gut, and don't second guess yourself. You are your best teacher.
Finally, yoga is made to help you navigate changes. Listen to your breath, listen to your body, follow your heart. Be open to the changes within. Let yoga be your guide.