“You shape your future reality by what you do in the present. Look to your dreams” – James Borg
I believe that yoga helps us to improve our lives in many ways, and we can use the powerful tools it gives us in whatever way we need. In Dru yoga we use a lot of visualisations and affirmations to complement the physical movement and relaxation. It’s fairly well known now that sports people visualise themselves achieving a goal to help them to actually achieve it. In the same way, we can visualise ourselves doing a yoga posture if we find it challenging, which helps the body to move into it and overcome any fear that’s holding us back.
We can also use visualisation or the power of our imagination to take us forward in life. The Dru sequence, Energy Block Release 3, helps us let go of limiting thoughts and encourages us to focus on our dreams, whether that’s to eat more healthily or become prime minister! The highlight of this sequence is the powerful archer posture, where we aim for our goal. Any action we take in life begins with a thought, so positive thoughts create positive action.
From the book Mind Power by James Borg….
“The reason why visualisation is so powerful and effective? It creates new neural pathways of experience – even though we haven’t actually lived the reality. Neuroscience has shown us that our thoughts alter the brain’s wiring and its neurochemistry”.
The next time you start daydreaming, go with the flow and don’t automatically dismiss it as a waste of time. Just think where it might lead you….
In classes this week, we’re thinking about what it means to be ‘in balance’ and working with postures, breathing techniques and relaxation that can help to restore some balance in our lives.
When you think about balance, what comes to mind? It might be physical balance, which becomes increasingly important as we get older to avoid falls, but it’s good to feel steady at any age. Or a balanced energy, having enough energy to take you through your day, without having dips or feelings of exhaustion. Maybe you think of emotional balance – we all have those days when hormones or stress gets to us and we experience an emotional roller-coaster and seem to be at the mercy of our mood swings (or someone else’s!). Sometimes our mind goes into overdrive, and we lose our mental balance. Things get out of proportion when our thoughts spiral out of control as we lie awake worrying in the middle of the night.
If any of these sound familiar, yoga can help. Helping to restore the work life balance, and restoring balance in the whole of our lives, so we can cope more calmly and enjoy life more.
“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight………
…..Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced”.
From The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran
When you’ve not ridden a bike for over 30 years, it might not seem so easy! The first challenge is getting over all the self-limiting thoughts like ‘I’m too old’, ‘look at all those fit young guys – I’ll look stupid’. Then the fears of falling off and hurting yourself, losing control and careering off the path, or just not being able to do it any more. Thinking about how you’ll ache the next day. And all those thoughts happening in the flash of a second, so almost without being aware of it, you say, ‘Nah, forget it ‘.
But what if you can catch those thoughts, challenge them, and replace them with positives? Then you can think, ‘No, you’re never too old’, ‘Who’s going to be looking at me anyway?’. ‘What if it all comes back to me, and I enjoy it?’ and ‘It’ll be good for me’. At least then, you’ll have a go and give yourself the opportunity.
Very similar thoughts can go through your head when thinking about a yoga class, or returning to any sort of physical exercise after a break. Yoga can help you become aware of your thoughts and to challenge them, so that your life becomes healthier, more free and enriching. In a yoga class, you can challenge yourself in a safe environment, and do things that you wouldn’t have thought possible.
As someone who’s struggled with fear and self-limiting thoughts for a long time, it felt really exhilarating to be riding that bike! (I know the picture doesn’t prove it, but I did, honest. And the number of my bike, that I’m pointing at – double-o seven).