The nerd in me often views my time on the mat like a science laboratory. I put my thoughts about my body under the microscope, dawn a mental image of a white lab coat and settle in for a period of discovery and "ah-ha" moments. I become hyperaware of my breath, yoga poses I like and don't like, and of points in my body that reflect flexibility, weakness, tightness and strength.
Our time on the mat is scared - it is the ultimate study of the self. How we handle our yoga practice is similar to how we handle situations off the yoga mat. Do you take yoga too seriously? Do you allow yourself to laugh? Do you relish in the transitions from one pose to another or rush to get to the next pose? Are you anxious for class to end? To find rest in Savasana or Corpse Pose? Or can you find enjoyment in a particular pose or movement? Do you hold the breath and stress you won't get something right? Do you push yourself too much or not enough?
All of the answers to these questions can transfer into how you go about living your life. Most of us are rushing from one opportunity to another in order to find that final destination and long-lasting happiness, much as we rush from one yoga pose to another and straight into Savasana. The truth is, happiness is merely a fleeting emotion as are anger and sadness. These are common emotions we rush toward or away from, yet they are only temporary.
If we head back to my nerdy vision, imagine a bell curve (you know the one we all studied in Math Class!). A bell curve is like a wavy line, but amidst the highest and lowest points is a baseline - a line that can be drawn straight through the middle in which all highs and lows must come back to. The yogi scientist in me considers this line as "contentment". Contentment can be defined as being ok with how you feel, where you are and what you are doing right now in this very moment.
It took me a little while to uncover that contentment is not the same thing as happiness. Contentment lasts far longer than happiness and can exists in the midst of many conflicting emotions.
I think one of the most profound desires of humankind is finding contentment. But there is one steady plane of contentment that aligns it all together. It is a balance and is our life long journey to practice it daily.
What is your most challenging yoga pose? What do you find difficult about it? Would you be interested in me creating a blog about that particular pose or maybe a short video?! I'd love to hear from you, so please comment below!
Be the Light,