Since late January when we went to Mammoth Mountain, I strained my bicep from using my arms to break my falls. One particular fall felt really bad and since that time, weeks later, I’m dealing with pain as it slowly heals. As my own biggest teacher, I’ve given myself space to heal but still deal with the frustrations of not feeling free in my body.
It might sound obvious if I say that flexibility is important in yoga. But I don’t mean #flexibility of the body—I mean flexibility of the #spirit.
Yoga is a powerful teacher of #balance between #freedom and #restraint: the liberation that comes with learning to connect with ourselves; the restraint that comes from existing in a complex physical world. Finding and keeping that balance, dancing between the total release and #self-awareness, requires the flexibility to be constantly conscious of ourselves and adaptable to our rhythms.
In Sanskrit, the word for ‘freedom’ is ‘kaivalya’; the fourth book of the #YogaSutras explores the freedoms we find through a ‘dedicated and consistent yoga practice.’
The freedoms that yoga brings are so powerful: open muscles, deep nourishing breaths, oneness and connection. But any restrictions that come from our physical bodies are also felt powerfully. Whether it’s an injury from which we’re recovering, a body that is larger or tighter than we would like, a physical condition that presents additional challenges—all of these factor deeply into our yoga practice.
In many ways, life is similar to yoga. We’re constantly spinning between working powerfully towards our intentions and dealing with limitations and constraints.
It’s easy to slip into frustration, impatience, pessimism when something is holding us back, but the best way to work with constraints is through loving #compassion and #space.
Give yourself the space to heal, to grow and to overcome challenges at your own pace. Give yourself the space to feel all of those feelings that come to the surface, but don’t let them tempt you into pushing yourself.
To give yourself this space, you might need to adapt your plan, modify your routine or shift your #perspective. You’ll need to stay flexible and receptive, open to #change and #transformation. By doing this, you’re not compromising your intentions or failing in your goals, not at all! You’re simply giving yourself the best tools to achieve your uniquely personal definition of #success.