One Big Thing I’ve Learned From 20 Years of Yoga

Originally I started yoga as purely a physical practice. I wanted something to complement my running (it helped me recover more quickly) and I thought sirsasana (headstand) would make a great party trick (it did). A good 15 years into the practice (I’m a slow learner) I started to realize yoga provided so much more than strong limbs and healthy body.

You Are How You Stand

What I learned through yoga, is that the way I hold my body can either lift me up or tear me down. If I want to feel strong, I practice warrior. If I want to feel comforted I cocoon in child’s pose and if I want to feel grounded in confidence, I centre myself samastithi (equal standing).

Connect Your Physical Centre with Your Mental, Emotional Core

I like to start with samastithi and power it up a little bit. First I find physical center in my body. I balance myself between front and back + side to side, spending time to find my physical core between these four dimensions. Then I connect to my physical centre along the length of my body (my belly) and start to breath openness and expansiveness into this area.

From this place of physical connection, I then think about my emotional and mental core. I think about my purpose, my goals, my vision for the future. I think about what I care about, what’s important to me and what change I want to make.

I’ve been practicing this enhanced form of samastithi for a while now and it’s had a profound effect on my life, happiness, productivity and emotional well-being.

Why It Works – The Power of Somatic Practice

This type of practice is called a somatic practice. It involves all three levels of our being (physical, mental and emotional) and is a powerful way to create change.

Think a thought, that’s one level.

Feel the emotion that goes along with that thought, that’s another level.

Tie it into a body position, get your limbs and body involved and POW! You’ve got a powerful practice that recruits all parts of your being to bring about change.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Then it’s just about repetition. The more the better. Repeat it daily, you’ll get there in a year or so. Repeat it 10 times per day, you’ll get there quicker.

This is the kind of stuff I’m over the moon excited about coaching and teaching around. It’s the kind of magic I’ll be bringing to my embodied confidence workshop at Afterglow Studio next week. I hope to see you there!

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