For the past week I have been talking in classes about “Shifting your Vision”. A term my teacher Baron Baptiste uses in the 12 laws of transformation. I have found the yoga mat to be a wonderful way to demonstrate how we can shift our vision and our perspective in the asanas. The asanas provide such wonderful symbolism as so many postures are practiced with different variations, while they look quite different in the body, the results are the same. One way of demonstrating this idea of “shifting the vision” is through turning the room around to face different directions, this providing the eyes with a new drishti (focal point). Another way which I have found to be quite profound for me has been through the use of the postures.
For example, Mountain pose (Tadasana) standing on your feet, is also mountain pose when you lie on the floor on your back (savasana), as well as when you are in plank (dandasana) on your hands and feet. When we move and shift our bodies into new variations of the same shape, we shift the sensations, and where the ease and effort are affected. That with the simpleness of shifting one’s hands or feet, one can feel the shape in a totally different way and have a completely new experience. As I began to think about the different asanas and how each one has many different variations, I began to contemplate how this applies to life.
My self-inquiry brought up thoughts of perspective, and be willing to explore alternative approaches to situations. Especially those that challenge me. For me, my default is to get frustrated and angry when things don’t go as I want them to. I think this is pretty normal. Then I started to think how much easier life would be if I could pause and breathe like I do on my yoga mat, and just turn directions, or shift my way of thinking just like I shift the postures around to feel them in different ways. So as I deal with challenging situations in my life, I am choosing these days to stop, pause, and consider that my original way of looking at the situation may not be the best and only way, and that maybe a different approach will open up my life and my thinking in ways that I wasn’t even aware was possible. This new way of being has already in just the matter of one week created so much less tension and more ease in my life.
So next time you feel stuck. Pause. Breathe. Turn around a few times. Then shift your focus. Realize that there are many ways to look at or experience a situation, that there doesn’t have to be a right or wrong way. Just maybe a new way!
Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety. This is what comes to mind for me as I step out of my comfort zone into the unknown.
For the last seven years minus a month or two I have owned and operated a yoga studio. In essence it has become my comfort zone, as strange as that might sound. To go out on my own, with one focus to teach without the other responsibilities of studio management and ownership scares me. It scares me because what if I fail? What if teaching alone is not enough for me, what if I succeed and this is all I need to keep my cup filled. These are the questions that constantly run through my mind over the last month in deciding whether or not to sell my part of the empower studio. A huge scary decision. A decision I have pondered and obsessed over for weeks, has increased my anxiety, caused me many sleepless nights, and lots of tears.
I spend my days and evenings teaching about integrity and authenticity, and being in alignment with one's own needs and desires, and for months I have been living in a fog, swelled up by stress of studio ownership. As I hope know one but my significant other has truly noticed the effects of all this stress, I have felt its heavy weight and it has left me feeling less then present with my students and my family. Then just a little over a month ago a fellow teacher approached me about studio ownership, and if at any point I was interested in relinquishing it, that she would be interested in purchasing it. At first the ideas sounded ridiculous how could I possibly give up what I created, what I had put so many hours and sleepless nights into. So much hard work! Then I recalled my teacher saying to me, to surrender is to be powerful, it is not a weakness or a sign of failure. So I began to ponder this idea, of giving up the stressful parts but keeping the parts I love and have grown to cherish, teaching students and helping others grow into their own authentic selves. I began to think what is possible if I step away from ownership and just focus on teaching? I began to ponder about all the things I could manifest with the new space I would have, I could tap into my creativity, create more workshops, trainings, and retreats and have the ability to connect with so many more beautiful yogi’s.
So I have decided to practice what I preach. To surrender, to let go of ownership right now and focus on what lights me up, and to be true to myself. Surrendering is scary, but I also believe it is powerful, and I committed to myself years ago when I first embarked on my yoga journey that I would always be powerful, and stay true to myself, to practice what I preach. So I am making a choice, taking a chance, and ready to embark on this change and I am excited for what is next.
Not that long ago this pose (crow - Bakasana) terrified me. Now I love the lightness the pose brings to body, and the feeling of strength and confidence it brings to my spirit. Each time I have stepped outside the lines of my comfort zone I have grown. I am looking forward to the journey that lies ahead, and the ability to continue to soar!