Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yoga is More Than Getting Your Foot Behind Your Head

by Sarah Starr

Being able to put your foot behind your head doesn’t necessarily make you a happier person or even more spiritual. That being said, there’s also nothing wrong with enjoying a playful challenge. The trick is not to get invested in the outcome.

If the only goal is to achieve a pose, what happens when you finally get there? If it’s just about the pose alone, there will always be the next advanced position for you to climb over, bend through, and twist around, stuck in the eternal “chasing the rabbit syndrome.”

The point is, either way, it’s all good. The most important aspect is to meet yourself where you’re at. It’s in facing yourself, meeting the challenges, and noticing your reactions to the highs and lows where you get to learn more about yourself.

How does your yoga practice reflect into the rest of your life?

1. Are you always struggling to gain a more advanced position or can you let go and trust in the unfoldment?

2. When you get to the “advanced pose” do you feel any more at ease or do you immediately start grasping for what’s next?

3. When faced with a challenge, do you freak out or can you surrender to what is, acknowledging your true strength in each moment?

4. Do you continually look around and compare yourself to others and then go directly into judgment of yourself?

5. Are you open to new possibilities in your practice or firmly attached to all that you “think” you know?

6. Do you frequently pause, breathe, and notice the beauty of the moment in your practice?

7. Do you take time to decompress, noticing and enjoying the subtle qualities of the unraveling?

Yoga is an opportunity to check in with what’s true for you. As you tune in and notice your tendencies, you also have a choice to recreate yourself in each moment. As you push the pause button, you have an opportunity to let go of old habits and conclusions of the past that no longer serve you or define you. It’s not always about the huge leaps.

When we create change in our life, it’s the little shifts that create the foundation. In releasing judgment—good or bad—you can open to new possibilities of the moment, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. For me, yoga is about connecting within, discovering my true nature, and inviting the curious, inquisitive, joyful part of myself to come out and play! What about you?

Since 2001, Sarah Starr, host of internationally syndicated “Happy Yoga with Sarah Starr,” has conducted classes such as “Power of Now” and “Breathing Peace” with thousands of people in national workshops and conferences. Sarah encourages her students to relax, breathe, and smile as they become the watchers of their thoughts, worries, and distracting mind dialogue. “If you’re not having fun, you’re not BEing Yoga.” Follow Sarah on Facebook and Twitter.

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