There comes a moment in many of our lives when we know its time to change. Whether it involves changing career, starting a new nutrition plan, moving country, ending a relationship or returning to our studies… we find motivation, eagerness and excitement in taking the first steps on a new path.
Some of us seek change often in our lives. We do not find contentment in the way we are living and consistently veer on different paths in the hopes of finding peace and satisfaction somewhere along the way.
Up until the beginning of this year, I believed that change came from physical acts that were visible and somewhat tangible. Little did I know of the power in changing my thoughts to find complete satisfaction and grace in my life.
By beginning to understand the power in thought, I made the choice to travel to Singapore to dive head first into the physical and spiritual world of Yoga. I knew there was something more to Yoga than just the postural practice, and surely enough within the first week of the intensive course, we were introduced to the 8 limbs of Yoga.
One can read endless self-help books, check in to beautiful retreats on paradise islands, change their career, home or relationships but the beauty of change and contentment lies in a true transformation from within. A shift in perspective.
Letting go of suppressions, freedom of judgment, release of impurities and finding grace in what surrounds us… this is what the 8 Limbs of Yoga teach us. They teach us of the power in letting go and living in the present moment.
All too often I found myself very self critical and worrisome of the opinions of those around me in the past. The truth is I cannot and will never be able to control what others think of me. I am solely in charge of my own thoughts and the way in which I wish to let them shape my life.
I used to fear failure and would consistently let my emotions be my compass. This would put a barrier up towards my true self. The things I wished to achieve. The places I wished to go.
Letting go of all suppressions and toxic thoughts is where the beauty of a peaceful life lays. Our thoughts become our reality. Within Yama and Niyama we embrace Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha, Tapas – acts of non-violence, truthfulness, determination and perseverance, ridding of jealousy, being grateful and respectful.
As many of us know though, saying is much easier than doing and this is where the 8 limbs of yoga teach us how to understand the power in spiritual practice to integrate daily into our lives.
Pranayama being one of the most vital tools that I have learnt about in our course is the act of expanding our vital energy, our Prana through breath. Whilst Asana, the act of holding oneself in a steady, stable, comfortable and motionless posture embraces the concept of transforming effort into effortless.
By practicing and learning of the secrets and power behind both Asana and Pranayama on a daily basis, I have seen and felt a glimpse of the beauty behind letting go. The power it holds. I have felt peace in living in the present and not holding on to any attachment of an outcome. Being still amidst the movement around.