There is a principle wisdom in the ancient healing traditions of Ayurveda (Sanskrit, 'science of life'):
'As within, so without.'
There are many layers to this, but one layer we can address is the relationship between internal and external landscapes.
Our inner alignment influences our physical alignment, just as our internal world is mirrored in the way we hold our bodies or facial expression.
If you feel stressed, scattered or fearful, this will show up in the way you breathe (short and shallow), move (hunched or contracted to protect the heart) and communicate (more reactive or suspicious) with the outside world.
Becoming aware of these constant shifts in our experience can help us awaken to more conscientious choices, moment to moment.
This is where the yoga practice becomes a powerful tool.
The practice of yoga asana, meditation or pranayama (breath work) gives us a mirror to reveal our patterns of thought and feeling. It shows us the shadowy parts of ourselves, which, if not recognised, can swell into waves that crash over us.
We practice yoga, so that instead of victimising ourselves, we become empowered to swim through the waters of our experience, when it is smooth as well as when it is rough.
We practice yoga so we can learn to shape how we attend to the world. Our practice on the mat is not about making the 'ideal' shapes; it is the process of broadening the awareness of our bodies and minds that matters most.
This practice of focus and presence teaches us how to meet ourselves, and others, in a way that is compassionate and understanding. How to forgive and move through the lightness as well as the mud of experience, instead of getting stuck. It teaches us how to guide our attention in a way that enlivens, the same way the lotus emerges from the soil.
Your practice might look very different on different days. A few deep breaths can translate to a more conscious arrival into a downward facing dog, or a more patient, kind response to a difficult colleague. On other days you may delve much deeper into an intimacy with self through movement, breath, meditation.
As within, so without.
Where attention goes, energy flows. When we learn the value of our own energy, we become its protector. And in turn, we respect the energy of others.
Energy is life. And life is well worth preserving.
Individually, collectively - let's do our practice.
See you on the mat. 🙏🏼
Ready to dip back into your practice?