This evening, I ventured out to try a new yoga studio. I have been in search of a vinyasa practice that would be a good fit for me. The minute I walked into the studio, I immediately felt a certain energy in the room. The class had not yet begun, but I just knew that this was going to be the place for me. I certainly used my intuitive sixth sense on this, and I was correct.
Yoga has been a part of my life, exercising the mind and body, for some time now. As we discuss the topic of SPIRIT this week, I thought about the strong link between spiritual connection, or enlightenment, and yoga. Through yoga practice, we strengthen our spirit by bringing our energy inward, starting with an awareness to our breath. It is the first kriya, or action of our soul. By turning inward, we can access that part of us that connects to something greater – that intuitive energy we discussed, the divine power that resides within us, and our authentic selves.
The path to spiritual wellness can take any form. It can involve prayer, meditation, affirmations, and/or any specific belief system you espouse. The important piece is that you find purpose and meaning to the flow of your life. Although yoga is my conduit for this flow, being mindful does not have to come only through yoga. You can easily start your day with an intention, just as we do at the beginning of yoga class.
What do you hope to give of yourself today? What answers are you seeking today? Where can you find peace today? When we intend something, we are connecting to that higher power and we are believing in it. We are believing and having unwavering faith that something larger exists within us and for us.
I think it’s inevitable that we all, to some degree, compare ouselves to those around us. Does my outfit look good enough, is my house big enough, is the amount of money I make enough? Enough, already! The “enough” seems to be centered around where we stand in comparison to those around us. It could be our friends, family, coworkers, etc. We have this need to impress and try to “keep up with the Joneses”. We seek approval from those outside of ourselves, despite what our truth might be. We begin to judge ourselves by the standards to which we hold others.
I remember looking at certain friends over the years and thinking “wow, they have it good…..their lives have lined up perfectly for them….if only I could have it that good”. These same people over the years would be the ones to go through their own life struggles, falling off the pedestal I had placed them on. A person’s life may seem perfect on the outside, but perhaps only on the surface. I found out recently that a good friend of mine is going through life-changing transitions, many of which I had never known.
The truth of the matter is, we all go through ebbs and flows in life. It really is pointless to compare your own path to that of another, thinking you should be riding along at the same speed, going to the same places. We all have our own unique things to learn, problems to face, fears to tackle, layers to peel down. If our happiness is based upon being in line with someone else’s path, we won’t ever find fulfillment. It’s about looking inside yourself and really radiating what is true to you. Who is your authentic self? What is your purpose and what do you have to contribute to the world? What really brings you joy? My hope is that the only comparison we make is within ourselves…..to compare how much we have grown by some of our challenging experiences and knowing that we have always been enough.