Want to know how good you really are at yoga? It can be pretty easy to feel strong and flexible and peaceful when the studio is beautiful and temperature controlled, and you’re surrounded with a community who thinks like you do. The real test is to take your practice off of your mat, to bring it into your real life, in real time, in the real world of relationships.
You’ve probably heard some variation of the phrase, “Root down and rise up” in a yoga class. This cue is a beautiful metaphor to help reach that next level in our off-the-mat practice: from a steady foundation we can test our boundaries and rise beyond the limits of our comfort zone.
As we turn the corner on Spring, we’re inspired to move more, travel and gather in community. Here are 3 ways you can take that sweaty, dig-deep-and-find-it-within work from your time on the mat and rise up to the difficult gift of living your yoga out loud, in the random wilds beyond it:
1. Less Posing, More Modeling
Physical poses help us refine our best self, break down old habits and learn how to move better and feel freer. Visualize yourself in your best form. Imagine how you would handle a difficult or surprising situation in real life. Are you moving with grace? Abundant in compassion, patience, resiliency? Are you innovative? Self-disciplined enough to make great choices in hard moments? Are you being kind? Let this “higher self” represent your personal role model and start to bring this part of you out as often as possible.
Locate new heights for yourself in Patagonia with us in September.
2. Level Headed is the New High
Who keeps you in check when you’re getting caught up in the drama or acting out old habits? Touch base with these people or their lessons for you, often. Keep notes, photos or some souvenir that will elicit their message so that you can have it on your radar way before you have to hear it. Identify what the agents of stability are in your life that allows you to feel safe. If it’s a special verse or quote, recite it regularly. Take time to meditate on these things so they feel as close as your back pocket when your head gets clouded or noisy.
Meet some new accountabilibuddies with us in Umbria in October.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
The cornerstone of every great yoga practice is the dedication to it. Recognize the poses, meditations or ideas that help you to feel less crazy and more empowered. Acknowledge the actions you take that leave you feeling joyful and vulnerable. Do that more often. Our studentship never actually ends, so just keep practicing. Remember that everyone is a student in some way and that we can all learn from each other as we walk off and on our mats every day.