After a particularly challenging yoga class, a student said to me, "I was really agitated in class today. I am not sure why. I saw myself wanting to be angry at you for making me struggle, but instead I kept breathing and going back to myself."
Every time we struggle in any part of our lives, we have been given an opportunity to learn about ourselves.
Had my student blamed me for giving her poses that made her struggle, she would have missed that opportunity.
Instead, using the tool of her breath, she chose to use her struggle as a way to stay connected to herself.
The practice of yoga is about discovering ourselves. The belief that we are all perfect and whole at our center is one of the main teachings. Svadhyaya or self observation and study is a commitment that we are encouraged to undertake through our practice.
It's not always easy to look at ourselves honestly and with our eyes wide open. Its much easier to blame others for our problems, or look the other way when we make a mistake or act in a way that feels unbecoming.
Winston Churchill said, "I am always able to learn, but not always willing to be taught."
Looking for someone to blame or becoming defensive when things or people in your life become challenging is an indication that you are "not willing to be taught."
Learning from your mistakes and taking ownership of your actions shows that you are.
Through self observation we can learn to change our habitual tendencies. When we look honestly at our behaviors, reactions, motivations, and strategies we may see that underlying it all is our attempt to protect our self image or ego.
Getting past the ego can be quite a challenge, but when we do, our relationship to ourselves and others will benefit.
Using our challenges and struggles as an opportunity to grow gives us the freedom to be courageous, strong, and centered no matter what life brings.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras