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August 26, 2019

What Yoga has taught me about Radical Presence.

 

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“I’m not strong enough! I can’t do it! I’m tired, and my legs are shaking,” my thoughts raced.

So I breathed.

I sent my breath with my intention to the sensation, and then suddenly, something shifted.

It’s funny how boundaries work. In the yoga practice, we create an intimate relationship with our personal boundaries, brush up against resistance, and breathe our intention into the space where our limitations reside.

As a yoga teacher and transformational coach, helping women create more happiness and freedom in their lives, you would think that I’ve gotten this all figured out by now. But I haven’t—rewriting limiting thought patterns requires a consistent practice of bringing awareness to your thoughts.

As humans, we have somewhere between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day…that’s a lot of thoughts! The comfort is, as humans, we have the ability to control our thoughts. Bringing awareness to your thoughts cultivates a mindfulness practice of radical presence with the self.

As you sit with each thought with a deeper sense of self-awareness, you become liberated.

With great power comes great responsibility. There is comfort in knowing we have the power to transform our thoughts, and it is imperative to operate from a place of high integrity. Here’s a quick practice I like to do to acknowledge my negative thoughts and emotions and then swing them back into balance:

1. Cultivating mindfulness and awareness around the thought.

Notice the moment a thought comes to mind, and notice the quality of your thought. If the thought isn’t empowering, that’s okay. It exists and is part of you for a reason.

2. Asking what there is to learn from the thought and then giving thanks for all that it has done for you and taught you. 

Once you have cultivated a sense of awareness around your thought, welcome it with kindness and compassion, saying back to yourself, “Thank you for protecting me and keeping me safe.”

3. Transmuting the thought into a positive force.

Once we have released the thought, it’s important to take it a step further by starting to embody what that next-level version of ourselves is. You can do this by simply replacing the thought with an opposing positive thought. Once you’ve created a new declaration that feels good to you, it’s important to make this a daily practice, really feeling into the emotions as you state your new positive thoughts. Repetition helps rewire the subconscious mind, the place where the majority of our thoughts, feelings, and actions live.

With the practice of mindfulness, breathe into the thought that you are ready and willing to release, guide it along its journey, and replace it with a thought that is one degree more uplifting than the thought you had previously.

Similar to yoga on the mat, you have the opportunity to practice yoga in your everyday life. The practice of uniting the breath, body, and mind provides the opportunity to rewrite your story and be liberated from your limiting thought patterns.

After all, isn’t radical freedom what we are all after?

Choose now. Choose love. Choose you.

Katie Tovar

author: Katie Tovar

Image: Author's Own

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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