Yoga for transformation

Raj SharmaNews and Blog1 Comment

Yoga is an experiential process – and it is a process. At first we get very focused on the postures, which is good – its important to learn the correct alignment, where your body needs to be in the shape, how to breathe correctly and how to deal with the heat….  

But after awhile once you’ve worked out these elements, the postures become become less of a focus and you realise its more about the process and what you’re experiencing in doing the postures that becomes your focus. Through that comes a deepening of awareness & self discovery.  

Yoga isn’t a life fix but in fact a life tool which you can use to create space and be able to slow things down so you can observe yourself, especially when situations become challenging, strong emotions come up or difficult thoughts arise. Through being able to stay in your centre and see what’s happening inside you, you can observe the triggers and patterns that are associated with what is coming up for you in these challenging moments and your reaction towards them. 

When this happens you can see the energy that’s created in you, and feel the power of it, but in the strength of your focus and awareness which are cultivated on your mat, you can shed light on those hidden parts of yourself and not get hooked into the feelings…. rather you allow them to come into your awareness, feel the sensations that are created in the body, perhaps see the message that this feeling brings and then give it time to move and release – which it always does. If the mind doesn’t create a story around what’s happening the energy of the feeling leaves much more quickly, without leaving a residue. 

When we are stressed the emotions associated with it can be;
Anger. Aggression. Hatred. Prejudice. Fear.
Anxiety. Insecurity. Hopelessness. Powerlessness and depression. 

The light of awareness is a powerful tool you can use to help yourself heal these emotions. 

A practice such as Yin is especially useful for for slowing everything down and creating this space of observation, to be able to see how we function. Because in Yin practice the postures are held for a lot longer, the enquiry can be much stronger and this awareness can build, since we have the ability to stay within the sensations and feel what we are feeling and so we can begin to understand and release them. I can’t recommend this practice enough. Please, please do Yin at least once a week!!

Emotion is just energy in-motion. It’s our thoughts that create are emotions and it’s our emotions that create our behaviours.  

When we feel an emotion, we’re actually feeling a vibration. Different emotions have different vibrations. Anger has a different vibration to frustration. Sadness and joy have different vibrations to anxiety and excitement.  

These energies can manifest themselves in the body and quite often we think they are physical issues, when actually they are emotional energy blocks… through constantly rewiring them through our thoughts, they can become lodged in the body.  

The removal of stress creates health. 80% of all health issues are stress related. The long term effects of these stress chemicals are what most people call normal states of consciousness. 

Our bodies operate two different nervous systems which have opposite functions and effects – the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest & digest). Our thoughts create chemical reactions within us, through the chemical reactions we experience emotion and sensation…we create meaning to the emotions and they then affect our thinking.. and so it goes in a loop. Until we become more aware of ourselves.  

Depending on your thoughts, you may be operating one nervous system or another – for anxiety anxious thought create cortisol & adrenaline (stress chemicals) which fires up the sympathetic system. Kind loving thoughts create oxytocin which ignites the parasympathetic system, creating harmony in the body – mind. 

Every thought has an effect. Our yoga teaches us when we are doing our practice the posture is the cause and the body feels the effect. Can we learn to stay in the experience of the effect, breathe through it consciously and learn from it rather than allowing it to control us. For me the heat fast tracks this process as it helps to burn through these energies that we are creating by bringing them to the surface and it clears obstacles which brings more clarity. In the same way when we are triggered by our thoughts or emotions, we can stay with the experience, feel its energy and burn through it.  

So understanding the cause, yoga is a transformative tool you can use to balance the mind and emotions by slowing down your thinking, allowing you to feel how your body is feeling and building a really strong focus, all of which enables us to raise our consciousness and become more self aware. The effect is a more harmonious and integrated mind, body & emotional system. The transformation comes by stripping ourselves of the stuff that we’re not and return us back to our original source, which is ultimately what our practice is doing. 

“Getting into the knack of catching ourselves, of gently and compassionately catching ourselves this is the path of the warrior. 

Sticking with with our uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing amist the chaos learning not to panic. This is the spiritual path.” 

One Comment on “Yoga for transformation”

  1. Great piece and great ending! It made me think of the difference between awareness and consciousness… Yoga is a such a valuable tool in our journey to become more self-aware and, as a consequence, more conscious…

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