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Om Yoga Blog
Om Yoga Blog
Experience Om Yoga and be encouraged to deepen the awareness of the body, mind and spirit bringing forth your highest qualities. Be Inspired to live daily in a way that promotes peace, mindfulness, humility and growth.
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1:14 pm

Maintain Perspective

I am a mother of two young children. Frequently, on Saturday evenings my husband and I get a babysitter so that we may enjoy and evening at the movies. Going to the movies in some ways has a correlation to yoga. While sitting in that darkened room you forget about everything else and are connected to the drama playing out in front you. Lost in the story. Just as when you are on your yoga mat you let go and focus on the moment. Lost in both your mental and physical selves. What happened in that Aurora, Colorado movie theater is so horrific and disturbing. I think about all those people who went into that theater for two hours of entertainment, and how many lives are changed by the senseless act of one evil man. Nothing is this world is fixed or permanent, according to Buddhism. Everything is subject to change and alteration. Change is the nature of all things in life, from the ebb and flow of the ocean waves, to the trees losing their leaves each Autumn. Without impermanence, life is not possible. Steve Jobs famously said "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." I cannot make sense of what happened in Colorado, nor will I step foot inside a movie theater without trepidation for a long time. But the next time I feel tempted to complain because my kids are driving me crazy, my husband is a slob, or the sub in my favorite yoga class was disappointing, I will certainly remember all those people in Aurora and know that none of that matters. I will simply be grateful. Enjoy each moment of your life!

11:29 am

The Art of Letting Go…

Just recently I’ve noticed that one of the beautiful things yoga helps us with is letting go. I am a perfectionist by nature, which basically means I like to be in control of my life all the time. As a toddler it took me forever to walk because I waited until I was ready to stand up and walk across the room. The fear of falling or failing continued throughout my adolescence and into my adulthood. This is not a fear that is unique in our culture. We live in a society that tells us to succeed in everything. It’s not enough to be a pretty good athlete, have a healthy body, or have an average GPA. We are inundated with the message that we are only valuable if we are the best at what we do or have the perfect whatever. Furthermore, many of us feel like we are in control and responsible for the outcome of our efforts to succeed. This might be temporarily satisfying when we meet a high expectation, but where does it leave us when we don’t? We inevitably feel like a failure and become frightened to move forward. This realization started as I struggled for the 947th time to come into headstand. I have been practicing yoga for the last 10 years of my life and have always had an easy time with poses that require flexibility, but when it came to poses where I truly needed to let go like arm balances it was impossible. I looked in envy at everyone in the studio who would just float up into a graceful inversion or balancing pose. Then, one day I was alone on my mat at home and cautiously placed my hands on the mat and allowed my body to move into this unnatural feeling of being upside down. My legs started to float up, and I was overcome by this feeling of weightlessness and vulnerability. It lasted for half a second before I awkwardly somersaulted forward. I sat up and noticed it wasn’t the end of the world; I tried something and fell over-BIG DEAL. It was then that I had this epiphany: It is ok to try something and fall down! From that point I worked on head stand in every practice until one day I just went up and allowed myself to be comfortable with that feeling you get when you feel vulnerable, weightless, and not totally in control. It was completely freeing and has become one of my favorite postures because it is a physical reminder of a deeper lesson. Yoga teachings and practice relieves us from the overwhelming burden of feeling like we need to control our lives and be perfect. One of my favorite quotes from the Bhagavad Gita is, “The superior man is he who can control his senses with no attachment to results, he engages in the yoga of action… The whole world becomes a slave to its own activity. If you want to be truly free, perform all actions as worship.” To me this means that the process of moving towards what we strive for is much more important than the outcome. It is in this process that we grow and learn about ourselves and can become more connected with our true selves. This connection frees us because we realize that we are already valuable as we are, regardless of our external circumstances. We are a part of the Divine and have been created for a much higher calling than just fulfilling the expectations we place on ourselves. If we know that then we can offer up everything we do each day as an act of worship and trust that every outcome is part of the big picture and is meant to be. Namaste, Anastacia