Jul 18, 2013 | Post by: admin Comments Off

Yoga and the Gifts of Guidance

Most people who know me, know that I love yoga and have a regular practice. It was through my yoga practice that I saw firsthand the importance of having a guide or teacher to assist with becoming more consciously aware. I love my home practice, but I find it to be so important to attend classes to receive alignment cues and adjustments from the teachers so that my body and mind understand what a healthy pattern is and what is not a healthy pattern.

My joints are hyper-mobile so it might look like I am doing fancy yoga poses, but I am actually getting into some dangerous territory if I continue doing that over the long run. Because I am so used to this crazy flexibility, I’m often unaware of when I’m not in proper alignment. It is when the yoga teacher makes a suggestion or comes over and helps to place my body in a healthy alignment that I am aware of where I was and where I should be to preserve the health of my body (which is part of the reason for my practice). Without that guidance, I would undoubtedly find myself with an injury five or ten years from now.

We are creatures of habit and those habits may have served us in the past, but they may not be anymore, and it takes conscious awareness to break the pattern and develop a new healthier one in the body’s physiology and neural networks in the brain. We’ve all been hearing about the neuroplasticty of the brain and that we can consciously break old habits and form new, healthier ones. We do this by forming new neural pathways in the brain. The more we practice something, the stronger that pathway becomes. You could give this a try by brushing your teeth with the other hand. You’ll feel how difficult and unnatural it feels at first, and how you really have to think about what you are doing, but you slowly become used to it. Because we may not yet be aware of our habits, it helps to have someone point out when the unhealthy patterns arise and what we can do to consciously change them.

My reason for attending classes is very much the same as why clients come to see me. In a class, the teacher will guide me to the edge of my comfort zone and provide the encouragement to explore what is there. Because there is someone else there calling out postures and alignment cues, I end up finding places that I avoid when I’m on my own. The teacher is there to make sure students are not harming themselves and falling into bad habits that will show up later in life as injuries. The same is true when working with emotions and the mind. A guide is there to help you identify what the unhealthy patterns are, where they come from , and how you can replace them.

Having a guide in your journey of creating the life you love helps to not only encourage you to explore the challenges during a session, but also teaches skills to do so on your own. My intention as a guide in your personal transformation is to hold a strong container filled with love and acceptance for you to step out of your comfort zone and explore what wisdom lies at the edges.

I am so grateful to my teachers and to my clients who always teach me as I guide them.


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