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It is in our capacity to receive

Yoga is both movement toward and arrival at a point.

TKV Desikachar

It is in our capacity to receive

For the longest time I believed that Yoga was a transformational practice. Let me clarify. I thought that it was the physical postures, the way in which we consciously breath and the meditation that were the catalyst for change. I am not alone in this belief and if you ask any student or teacher what it is about Yoga that they hold so dear to their hearts, most will mention (to some extent) how it has shifted them. I too admit that Yoga has allowed me to develop in a profound way but I don’t know if I can attach the change to the practice.

One of the central tenets of all spiritual paths is that change is happening all the time. If we observe the rise and fall of the sun, the turning of tides or the cycles of seasons, we will see that the universe is always transforming. See what I’m getting at? Change is constantly happening all the time; whether we are doing Yoga or not. What the Yoga practice does however is allow us to see it in its flux and to foster it.

Change is scary. Stability is far more comfortable even if the situations we find ourselves in are not ideal. It is a curious habit of humans and in many ways a protective mechanism because the unknown can harm us. We are so fearful of what we don’t know. When we practice Yoga, through the movement, breathing and mental attention what we are actually doing is learning to abide in what we are experiencing right now. This means we allow ourselves to severe our anticipations of the future and dissolve our attachment to the stories of the past. It may seem as if we are transforming but the transformation was already happening.

The power of Yoga is not that it transforms us. The gravitas is from our capacity to receive transformation. Not only is this far more accurate as how we experience it but it is empowering to us as Yogi-s. No longer are we outsourcing the responsibility of our health and happiness to something outside of us, but embodying it, and taking the reins of our life for quite possibly the first time.

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