Yoga is powerful. Yoga is so powerful, indeed, I believe powerful enough to bring about change that so many desperately seek. Where do I see this power? How is it realized? That is where the beauty of yoga comes into play. Yoga achieves these profound changes in the unseen depths of our psyches. Through the asanas, as we create shapes with our physical bodies we are given the opportunity to change the shape of our minds as well. One of my favorite ways to describe this is through the example of bound side angle pose. This is a pose that I both love, and hate – and the experience is deeply dependent on my guide for class that day. In this pose, in which one leg is forward of the other bent to 90 degrees, one arm wrapped under the front but leg, the other arm wrapped behind your back to find the finger tips of the bottom arm brings so much action into play – and perhaps paradoxically in this bound up pose, an opportunity for true expansion both in our exterior and interior bodies. If I am in a class with a teacher who encourages focus on the expansion of the chest (even against the constraint of the twist and arms), and the easeful places within the pose (soften your eyes, just there) – I achieve a physical manifestation of a pyscho-emotional circumstance so common in our everyday. One of confusion, tightness (because of the confusion or the unknown), an acute sense of being uncomfortable and the invitation to take a pause, focus on what feels expansive, and feel into the known – to then move through the experience with more grace and personal integruty. The more we practice these poses on our mats, the more likely we are to take the experiences into our everyday. Those strong powerful warrior poses: confidence in yourself, and your capacity for this life. Those soothing forward folds: understanding the restorative affects of finding stillness and silence within yourself. Those really really challenging poses or perhaps a “goal” pose: Realizing through experience that consistency is the only way to find the desired shift, to achieve that which you wish to achieve the most. In our modern day choas-filled, physically focused world, I believe it is through physical practice combined with contemplation (meditation – just do it!), that we will ultimately discover and achieve all that our souls desire.

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