New Year, Fresh Perspective
Hello everyone, and Happy New Year!
The beginning of the New Year is certainly a cause for celebration; however, many of us in 2024 will stay stuck in the same external disturbances from 2023 and even years and years before then! Maybe for you, that external disturbance is a noisy neighbor, a brother-in-law who is always broke, a child who won’t do her chores, or even a traffic-congested drive to work; unfortunately, for many of us, the external circumstances are much worse. But does that mean we throw our hands up in the air and give up? Or, keep trudging along, waiting for these external circumstances to change? Our yoga teachings tell us no, heck no!
At its core, yoga philosophy teaches us the importance of dismantling unhelpful, habituated patterns in our lives. Habituated patterns can obscure the way we perceive our surroundings and provoke strong emotional reactions to our external circumstances. These automatic and habitual reactions are, in yogic terms, known as samskaras. Samskaras subconsciously dictate our behavior and obscure the way we see the world. Samskara literally translates as “groove, mark or impression”, and is typically formed when we are young as a result of an occurrence of an event in our life that left a strong and often negative impression. Some samskaras are helpful, i.e. don’t touch the hot stove or you’ll get burned. Others are not so helpful, i.e. don’t speak up and say what you really think or you’ll be punished. And the more often we repeat a certain reactionary behavior that is based on a long-held samskara, the deeper the groove becomes, the more disempowered we feel, and the more difficult it is to see the world as it truly is unfolding.
Deep impressions based on what is happening around us occur at all ages, and the topic of samskaras is an enormous and enlightening subject. With a truly authentic yoga practice, we are offered a way out of this cycle. Yoga invites us to step out of our minds and out of our reactions to see things as they are, with no filters. So give it a shot and start small: that person driving 40mph in a 50mph might not be so aggravating after all!
Happy New Year!
P.S. If you want to learn more about how yoga can change your life, our TrueForm® Yoga Teacher Training starts January 26th. This could be YOUR year!!