What's Yoga got to do with Nature? Alot!
The stages of our lives (and our Yoga practices) mirror Nature (called Prakriti in Sanskrit) - yet we resist Nature's seasonal shifts - causing our own nature (called Purusha in Sanskrit) to be one of struggle and distractions.
Young people want to look mature and mature people want to look young. We have the lights on at 11pm in Winter, when Nature says we should be tucked up in bed in the dark, conserving our energy. When we learn to accept the shifting seasons, as Nature does, we flow effortlessly from one to the other.
Here's how our Yoga practice mirrors the shifting seasons - have a think about it next time you're on the mat!
Spring - our birth and development through childhood (our early stretching out in class)
Summer - our abundant adult years (the standing poses in class relate to the years when we "stand on our own two feet")
Autumn - our children leave home or work/life balance shifts (our seated poses represent our letting go of busyness, giving ourselves time and space)
Winter - we conserve energy, and reflect, with wisdom (meditation or final relaxation)
Next time we see Spring bulbs in flower, notice how some are in bud, some fully out, some hanging their heads - then they fall away to be replaced by Summer ones, the Autumn leaves drop, and in Winter plants go to ground - what can you do to follow Nature's lead?
What do you see? The blots or the white background?
The mind has been a repeating theme lately. Here’s some mind – based, mind - blowing information:
Over time, because we tend to focus on the repeated and negative thoughts, creating more and more blots, we can no longer see the white background – we’ve got a head full of “stuff”.
Yoga's roots are geared to increase the mind’s ability to focus. This funnels our many thoughts to specifics related to body or breath, co-ordination or rest, over time shifting the mind’s patterns. When our mind's patterns and focus improves we become calmer, more productive, have a better outlook, feel less overwhelmed, sleep better – shall I go on?!
Be clear, the thoughts may still happen, but, with consistent, regular practice (see my January blog for more on that) we can teach the mind new habits.
Here’s another mind-blowing piece of information:
Want something to try?
Read more about focusing the mind:
Tapas is a Yoga word with a big meaning – it relates to change and the need for staying power, determination and self discipline in the process. Within Tapas are two other really important elements - Abhayasa, meaning consistent, repeated effort and Vairagya, meaning not obsessing about results.
For those who set a New Year’s resolution, by February most will have given up. Why? Because we might have set an unrealistic goal, we want results too quickly, or we struggle to put the effort in regularly enough.
We can create change any time we want to, it doesn't have to be a New Year. How we go about it is what matters.
How can we deal better with a change we'd like to make?
What could you create for yourself with the mix of consistent, repeated effort and determination?
To find out more about Tapas