Time and again I witness someone going through a transformational process due to yoga. In some cases the transformations are truly remarkable with people going from a state of inability to complete and normal function. In some cases a person is able to transform themselves from a weak person into a person with incredible power. If you are seeking a yogic transformation and you want yoga to bring out the best in you then take heed. The yoga that can transform you is not just easy stretching.
The truth is, yoga brings out the best in us by making things difficult. It is easy to sit with poor posture. Yoga asks us to align our body so that gravity destroys us less. It is easy to be weak. Yoga asks us to use our muscles to move our body into the poses. It is easy to breathe shallowly. Yoga asks us to breathe deeply. It is easy to be stressed out. Yoga asks us to cultivate a calm mind.
Yoga is not supposed to be easy. If your yoga is getting easy then you need to take a good hard look at what you are doing. When we let yoga become too easy it loses its transformational power. This is not to say that we shouldn’t seek to become accomplished in our yoga. If we are accepting the challenges that yoga brings then we are transforming into powerful beings indeed. Yet, if we just rest on our laurels then we stop making progress.
True relaxation is not about being lazy. We are not just to relax our body, but yoga teaches us to reside in the state of the moment. The here and now. This is not what we are doing if we spend our relaxation time either sleeping or watching the latest Netflix video. Yoga asks us to delve inside ourselves to harness our mind to the task of being fully present. When is the last time you can say you were totally focused on the moment?
Yoga is not just about stretches. Stretches are nice – they feel good. We should all create gentle stretches as we first get out of bed. Yoga however is about creating a balanced relationship between all of our muscles so that every muscle is long enough and strong enough. In order to tap into the potential of your full flexibility you must become strong. You must challenge your body in a wide number of positions to find you limits and follow a plan to turn those limits into your abilities. Your current weakness will point the way of your yoga journey.
However, yoga is also about respecting our current limits. Yoga wants us to challenge ourselves but also work gently within our restrictions to create a body wide enhancement. We will not get where we want to go by bullying ourselves. We are not making progress is we are creating injuries.
The good news is that your yoga can always be something new again. All it takes is focusing on creating prefect alignment in every pose, maintaining an elongated spine in every action, and maintaining a mindful awareness in all we do and – what do you know, yoga just became difficult again. Difficult and transformational.