Yoga changes what you want

“The first step is simple: just make a decision to unload your burdens and start your journey home. Make a decision to reclaim your beautiful self – your body; your clear, calm, and tranquil mind; and the peaceful core of your being.” ~Pandit Rajmani in July/Aug Yoga+

This last year I’ve been re-working the conditions of my life to support more yoga – more asana, yes, but also more “steady & sweet” as in “Yoga pose is a seat that is steady & sweet (or with ease).” Changing schedules, duties, what I think I need, really digging in to what’s important – really crucial – to my best life. Changing eating, sleeping, all sorts of habits.

And what I’m finding is that my very desires are changing. The things I used to want to want, used to want to have time to want, energy to want, these are the very things I wake up ready to do.

And my fears, the very ones that kept me from doing this earlier in my life, were unfounded. I used to fear that I would become soft, pampered, non-productive and have less substance if I created these conditions. But it’s the opposite: I am not only clearer of head & heart, but more productive, more energetic, muscular of body & mind, more discerning and less in need of pampering to feel like my well is full.

Yoga has changed what I want and how I go after it and given me what I wanted all along. I just had to let go of a lot and trust not only my practice but my deepest driving desires for wholeness and simplicity. The Upanishads say that our deepest driving desires are our destiny, and I’m beginning to see that destiny has more to do with what you allow than what you plot, that resistance is almost always a sign of imbalance and that it’s more powerful to soften to resistance than to cleave it. When we soften, we bring awareness & breath, attention and the potential for transformation. There is enough time, because there is the part of us in time and the part of us that participates in creating it, and for that part of us there is no limitation and so no concept of “enough” or “not enough”. In consciousness, there is only Being.

4 comments
  1. Avril said:

    I’m finally working towards the kind of life I already knew I wanted when I was back in college. Yoga would very much be a part of that life. I needed to get so tired of fighting against what I wanted and fighting the fears that held me back. Little by little though, steps are in place for me to make the change.

    I’m glad you’re able to do it now. Congrats and good luck!

  2. Yoga reminds me that I am a work in progress.

  3. Amy said:

    Hi Christine! I love your essay! It resonates deeply with me. Yoga somehow refocuses us on the things that truly matter and make all the rest seem like clutter. My reprioritization experience started at the most basic, tangible level — as so often is the case with yoga! I can vividly remember, during the first 1-2 years of my practice, being compelled to clean my house and purge us of extra “stuff.” Even Christmas, always a huge production of gift-giving for me and my family, began to feel misguided and my focus shifted to the events of the season (baking, connecting with friends, snuggling in front of children’s videos, etc.)rather than the material. As I was transforming I would not have been able to tell you it was the yoga driving me on … but in hindsight, it so clearly was!

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