Yoga is a “re- patterning” practice. We use asana to change the way the body balances itself, by accessing and freeing up the flow of prana (life force) within the muscles, joints and organs of the body. When there is good flow of prana within the body and mind then we can live in a good head space, and in good physical health.
We identify, strip down or undo what is already there in form of habits or behaviors and re build new ‘patterns’. It’s not about building one new pattern on top of the other, but rather to take something out and replace it with something new. This process takes time, patience, and devotion. We begin by identifying behaviors or habits (physical or emotional) that are less beneficial to us, and then proceed to clear space to build new ones that are more beneficial to our well being. We tackle them one at a time.
To identify where these behaviors are coming from we have to be willing to take the dialogue inside and ask ourselves where they are coming from. Once we identify the root cause we can begin the strip down and re wire.
As Tim Feldman talked about, on his recent visit here at the Shala, yoga becomes “the ‘yolking' of two patterns together to make union”. The old pattern with the new pattern.
The Primary series of Ashtanga Yoga is meant to teach you to put your body there on a daily basis, it cleans the physical body and restores health. If there are things in the physical body that need to be fixed or re wired, primary series will target them and bring them to light. Once primary has done it’s job we move into second series, which guides us to dig a little deeper, past the physical into the more subtle aspects; the nervous system. This is where we can begin rewiring deeply ingrained habits or behavioral patterns.
To end with Tim’s words: “Yoga gently guides us to change from a place where we are calm, and unafraid”