Nov 5, 2015

Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Yoga

I recently spent two days with a Rapid Resolution Therapist. The idea is within one or two sessions, the therapy will eliminate emotional pain and destructive behavioral patterns and completely resolve the psychological and physiological effects of trauma (per the website). It’s said to help with PTSD, anxiety and depression. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen a friend go through it and come out completely re-energized. So, after muddling through recent anxiety issues, I decided to give it a whirl.

The process is powerful. I had my reservations, but it was definitely an experience worth having, and hopefully, ultimately, life changing. But something I realized is that so much of self-improvement, therapy, growing and healing—and yoga—are based on similar concepts. Here are a few. (And I won’t even charge you $150 an hour. You’re welcome.)

Breathe. Simple right? Not always. When you’re stressed or sad or angry, the last thing you’re focused on is your breath and it’s the one thing that you should be focused on because it may be the only thing in that moment that can help calm you.

Be present. Most stress, sadness, worry and/or depression are caused by our minds fixating on the past or the future. Animals don’t have this ability. They live in the present moment and don’t need therapy. So maybe we need to just all listen to Ram Das and “be here now”.

Be flexible. This is important in both your body and your mind. Working on physical flexibility can help your overall health. Being flexible in your mind can help you bend with your ever-changing life situations. What doesn’t bend breaks, after all, right?

Focus. Where your mind goes, your life follows. Imagine you’re standing in tree pose. If you’re thinking about the 20 things you still have to do today, the argument you had with your boyfriend yesterday, or a big presentation coming up, chances are, you’re going to lose balance. But when you rein it in, set a focal point, it’s easier to maintain composure—as in life. If you think things will go badly and don’t believe in yourself, odds are, that’s what you will materialize. But if you can change your mind, think positive and set intentions, you may just find the universe will respond and work with you.

You are not the body. You are not the mind. There’s a light inside each one of us that no one can touch without your permission. It may get clouded with stress, anxiety, depression, fear, anger, what-have-you, but that light is always there, shining. Yoga, meditation, therapy—they help clean the lens that you look at life so you can re-center and reconnect with the light inside you.

It’s okay to fall. It’s how you learn. Yoga isn’t easy. Life isn’t easy. Sometimes getting out of bed isn’t easy. But it’s the falling, the struggles, the good times (and the bad), that make us exactly who we are in this moment.

And we are wonderful.

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