Yoga increases body awareness.
You can understand how your body operates in poses and the physical patterns in your body. Yoga also develops mental awareness. The practice allows you to witness patterns of the mind and become aware of your “self-talk.”
Choosing a different focus shifts the thoughts in your mind. When you continually and consciously practice responding to or thinking about an old issue or predicament in a new way it causes the neurons in your brain to fire together in different ways, forming new connections—thereby shifting the old patterns that do not serve.
Your body and mind are in a state of either fear or love.
The plethora of emotions you experience all come from one or the other. Fear creates an imbalance that shows up as feeling “stuck” and a realm of emotional suffering like anxiety and depression.
Love is unconditional, strong, honest; it trusts, allows, chooses, is kind, heals, inspires, is brave, accepts, enjoys, wants, frees
Key attributes of love: connection and safety
Fear is conditional. It is weak and deceitful; it suspects, dictates, avoids, is angry, hurts, worries, is afraid, rejects, suffers, needs, imprisons.
Key attributes of fear: disconnection and fight or flight response
I think it’s safe to say that we all want a little more love in our life.
To me, this whole ‘fear vs love’ concept is pretty intuitive, but logic doesn’t really help. Practice is required. Yoga is powerful because it puts you into the same scary predicaments time after time. It gives you the opportunity to choose a different focus and over time, you can teach your brain to naturally choose love and have a better experience, even if it is challenging.
Yoga gives your body therapy, taking you out of the fear response with deep breathing and actions like rooting your thigh bones in yoga poses, which soothes your nervous system.
Yoga allows you to practice conscious attention. In other words, you get to choose which thoughts you bind to.
Your brain’s deepest desire is love and meaningful connection, which is why love (for self and others) offers you a sense of safety and security. This is also why some of your deepest fears have to do with the loss of love and disconnection. Your brain is wired for love, the strategies you use to protect yourself can, at the same time, cause intense feelings of disconnection.
Your yoga practice can shift this unhelpful paradigm. The more you step onto your mat, the more you start to understand your body, your mind, and all of the related patterns.
I invite you to start to notice when fear arises and the self-limiting beliefs attached to it. As you practice shifting your thoughts towards more love and connection on your mat, the benefits naturally start to seep into your life because you are actually rewiring your brain. Your practice develops your ability to shift to the most optimal emotional state no matter what.
You are the creator of your own experience and it all starts with where you choose to focus. Is it coming from fear or love?
Can you give yourself permission to choose love?
As a kid, Kaylee was jokingly nicknamed by her parents, “Freakout” (F.O. for short). A daily yoga practice has given her the tools to not only be more flexible in her body… but to be more flexible in life. By rooting into the foundation of life, leaning into trust and living from a more grounded, authentic place she noticed it was easier to accept the twists and turns of life and view them as opportunities. Yoga can help you navigate through the muck… and use it as fertilizer to grow!
Kaylee has a passion for sharing yoga. She teaches at a local Denver studio and brings yoga to elementary and preschools.
Check out her blog at: kayleejaneyoga.com
Like elephant Yoga on Facebook.
Assist. Ed: Lacy Rammuno
Ed: Brianna Bemel