Yoga has a way of drawing people in through its reputation for developing strength, flexibility and peace of mind. No doubt fast paced, stressful environments have increased the interest in these ancient practices. It turns out learning how to quiet the mind, move, and breathe not only helps you release present day stressors but also any feelings and beliefs that you may have held onto from the past.
Some beliefs such as the I am strong or I am capable will be an asset to you, while others such as I can't breathe, or I am bad at being in the moment may hold you back from developing your true potential. Learning how to release these belief systems on your yoga mat can have a positive influence on your health and state of mind. Rather than feeling stuck or constricted by your circumstances, you can feel empowered by your ability to move through them. The steps below show you how:
Sit on your yoga mat in a comfortable seated position. Sit up tall and begin by taking three breaths inhaling and exhaling through your nose. While breathing, relax your facial muscles, jaw, and shoulders. As you do this, lift your sternum up and elongate the side of your waist by stacking your shoulders over your hips.
2. Set an intention.
Intentions come from the heart while goals come from the mind. Intentions are rooted in the present moment while goals focus on the focus. As your breath moves you into the present moment, place your hands in a prayer position in front of your heart and state to yourself silently or out loud, I allow all self limiting beliefs, feelings and stories to surface and to be released in the name of love. You may repeat this up to three times.
3. Integrate your intention into poses.
As you begin to move and breathe on your yoga mat into various yoga postures, know that you are integrating and allowing this intention to move through you. Trust that your awareness and willingness to release whatever shows up will be moved. If you find yourself judging or undermining the process simply notice this and inhale the word I and exhale the word allow.
For example, if you were on all fours in a cat and dog pose, you might lift the crown of your head and tail bone up toward the ceiling on inhale while stating to yourself I and on exhale tuck your tailbone and bow your head while rounding your spine state silently or out loud the word allow. Trust your body knows what to do and listen for belief systems that may pop up along the way. Some examples may be a belief that you need approval to be happy, or that somehow you have failed may surface along the way. Stay true to your intention, move, breathe, and allow your body rather than your mind to take care of it.
4. Give thanks.
Always end your practice with rest and gratitude. Give thanks to your mind, body and soul for assisting you. Consider your body and soul knew exactly the amount of clearing you needed for that day. Namaste.