I recall in one of my first posts on this blog that I was anticipating some changes and surprises along my Ashtanga yoga journey. Even though I was anticipating it, it is quite fascinating to experience it! Since I’ve made an effort to have a regular practice, some weird and wonderful things have started to happen to me – all of which I will blog about in due course.
Today I realised the effect that yoga has on self-awareness. I used to have a stressful lifestyle that took up all my attention and focus, running from one thing straight into the next without taking a breather or allowing for self-reflection. This has changed. Okay, for one, I have left that environment behind me which has helped to relieve some of the stress that I was experiencing and my lifestyle has changed dramatically, but every situation and lifestyle brings its stressors and it is how we handle it that makes the real difference.
In any case, whatever the situation, we tend to focus on the external factors that affect us – either positively or negatively – and spend little time on self-reflection. Yoga has changed this for me completely. It started to ease me into the mindset of focusing inward and guides me towards recognising internal strength as opposed to identifying external factors that can help me cope with other external factors that hit me.
I say that “yoga did”, but that is not entirely accurate – the practice of yoga has helped me to become more self-aware. For me, each practice holds a little gem of wisdom into my current physical and mental state and helps me to check in with myself to understand where I am at. E.g. If I am feeling weak and tired, this will show in my practice and I will understand that I will need to just take it easy that day so as not to knock my immune system. If I had not practiced, I probably wouldn’t have noticed that I need a rest. Today my practice was so half-hearted and distracted that I didn’t even finish…it made me realise that I am not dealing with some things that hit me yesterday and can’t just ignore it.
It’s like a crystal ball to me, who has never really been the type to self-reflect, and I feel like I am more in touch with myself and more in control.
It’s an instant mind and body check-up, without the ridonculous doctor’s fees!