Change, Thinking and Yoga

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ~Einstein

Gandhi shared inspiration with the words, "be the change you wish to see." However, before you can be the change, you need to think first.  For goals, dreams or changes to happen, you've got to have a plan of desired results. Or, better yet, a guideline outlined in pencil vs. ink for unexpected modifications. Most of of us learn that things do not go exactly as planned. But, if you allow yourself to be open and receptive to the unplanned, you have an opportunity to learn how to change your thinking. The mind can wreak havoc if you let it. If you are aware of your mental "heavy traffic", "missed turns", and relentless "red lights" that hold you back, you can re-shape the mind like you re-shape the body with effort.

The mind is a tough composition of three pounds to exercise. The average person is estimated to have 70,000 thoughts a day. (Some probably feel it is that many an hour) There are over 100, 000 miles of blood vessels in the brain to disperse 20% of the oxygen and blood that the body circulates. But, just because your brain is self-contained within a thick skull means it is not flexible. On the contrary, it possesses neuro-plasticity! In a nutshell, this means the brain has the ability to re-wire itself, grow new connections and weaken bad connections. Yoga practiced with the intention to exercise the mind might be the best work out you ever experienced. Instead of burning calories off, burn off some thought plaque.

Yoga is a practice for the body, mind and spirit. Once you practice shifting your focus from one aspect to another, you will understand the physical is the least of its benefits. If you are worried about not being physically flexible enough to practice yoga, then you've got some work to do upstairs. It is not about what you can't do...it is about what you can do. We all start somewhere and move forward from there. If I was a psychologist, I would have the client on a mat instead of a chair. With that thought in mind, let's get breathing.

First, what do you need now? Less stress? Better health? A push out of a rut? Whatever it is...keep it simple and think of the reality you desire. Do not dwell on what is bothering the mind. Dwell on the existence of what you seek. Use conscious breathing as a tool to quiet the mind's habit of intervening. If you are stressed out, use the mat as a bridge to calmness. Each breath, each move, and each sensation is to be experienced as it is now. Keep it simple and keep it real.

Someone once said that music is powerful because of the silence between the notes. In other words, you would not truly appreciate the note if you didn't experience the quiet. Apply this concept to the thought process. The focus on the gaps between thoughts has been around for a long time; however, do you really practice it? Truth is, you do not even need to be on the yoga mat to practice this mind "bender". To train the mind to chatter less makes it more pliable to create new grooves of connections of what you seek. The physical moves of yoga help the brain release the chemicals needed to relax you in order to focus. The pharmaceutical companies would froth at the mouth if they knew how to get the hormones, proteins, and neurotransmitters that collaborate with the thoughts of your brain!

We may be what we eat. But, we are also what we think. Eating habits can be changed. Thinking habits can be changed. Notice the habit and take the steps to break it. Release the technology era based concept of instant results. You are a human being...a force of energy comprised in a physical body. Your mind's abilities surpass that of any computer. It must be worked, positively guided, and consistently fed plenty of oxygen. It will follow intentions when focused on enough. Your yoga practice is a time to set an intention, consciously breathe, and create more physical and mental space for your energy force to develop and grow.

 "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." ~Einstein

Apply this quote to yourself. You are a great spirit. Some of you may think differently and that is simply the mind being mediocre. Break the habit of complacency, negativity or whatever limits you mentally. The mind will fight fiercely and resist changes; however, it is not up to it to live your life...it is up to You. It is easy to not distinguish between the mind and spirit at first. Spirit resides quietly, patiently...whispering so you have to be quieter to hear it.  Once you are able to feel the difference, there's no turning back...only steps that go forward.

Know that the mat is a bridge. Once you step off it, you're not back to your previous reality. You don't walk off the mat...you use it to cross over to fields of gold.

Namaste'






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