We have all been in a difficult situation at one time or another. There are many ways we react to these situations. Some learn to accept the situation, and others analyze, ask questions, and seek solutions. These situations can even cause us to think negatively, hurting our mental and physical health.
Pay attention to the pose.
Yoga practice can be a great way to teach our minds how to respond to situations and people without attachment. Imagine yourself in a difficult pose. This pose is best for someone with tight hamstrings or a stiff lower back. Half Moon or Ardha Chandrasana may be a good choice if you have trouble balancing poses. It communicates with your body, mind and breath, regardless of the pose. It is communicating with you. What are you feeling at the moment? What can you learn from the present moment? How do you respond to certain situations? Do you seek perfection or want to find a balance between Sthiram, stability, and Sukham, comfort?
As a guide, use your breath
It would help if you allowed the pose to push and challenge you. But don’t let it ruin your breath or your mind. Your breath can help you recognize when it is time to step back and stop. You can return to a simpler version, such as the Pyramid pose. To do this, bend your front knee and place your hands on the blocks on your feet. You might need to reset if you have moved to Half Moon from Triangle pose, Trikonasana or Triangle pose. Before you return to the pose, close your eyes and let your breath settle. This is something we can all do in our everyday lives. Take a moment to stop and look around before you move on.
Faith in the practice
As a yoga teacher, I am reminded that I am a student first. To be able to do postures like the Crow pose ( Bakasana) and Handstand, I continue to work on strengthening my core and shoulders. This could be achieved in two weeks or two years. While it is important to set a goal, the practice (or’Abshyasa) is just as important.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali discuss three essential elements of yoga. While he talks about them in achieving Samadhi (broadly translated as ‘bliss’ or ‘enlightenment), they can be used to support any situation. These are Sraddha, Virya and Smrti. They can be applied to any situation.
Faith in your daily practice, your teachers, and yourself is important. The will to practice and energy will help us pick ourselves up from our mistakes and keep a positive outlook. Smrti helps you to take lessons from your past and apply them to today’s situation so that you can make the right decisions to get ahead. Bakasana and Crow’s poses are the worst. I have learned to accept my mistakes and get up again. I don’t judge myself for not being perfect. Each moment on the mat and off is an opportunity to apply these three principles: Shraddha, Virya, and Smrti.
Yoga philosophy is applied off the mat.
Yoga is more than a physical practice. Asana is only one of eight limbs of yoga. Yoga philosophy also talks about taking control of your mind and directing it towards a higher purpose and goal. We can create a calmer and more peaceful mind by reflecting on how we react to people, situations, the environment, and ourselves. This is also called ‘Cittaprasadanam’. This mind will enable us to see and respond clearly. Remember to breathe when you find yourself in a difficult position or are facing an uphill battle. This will allow your mind to follow you wherever you need it when you are in a challenging position.