When you take an hour out of your day to do some stretching in a structured way, guided by someone with some expertise, you are making a conscious choice to increase your power.
Power can be thought of as “energy” or “personal vitality” and that kind of power is a known virtue of a structured yoga practice.
But power is also having the ninja ability to stay conscious. To consciously choose this, not that: to stay out of the brain’s unconscious default mode.
Power is also the ability to stay aware and awake. To notice things like another person’s body language, as well as downgrades in our own attention: tiredness, inability to focus, hunger, thirst.
Power is the ability to decide. To say no, or yes, from a place where you feel resourced, physically and mentally.
You bring this power to every domain of your life: food, Facebook, leisure activities, projects you take on, or don’t, and the ways you prioritize how to spend a day.
Try asking yourself these questions a few times throughout your day this week:
Is this activity compulsive or creative?
Am I unconscious or conscious?
What am I cultivating by doing this?
What am I bringing into the world?
In the yoga room, of all the above questions, the most important one to keep asking is: What am I cultivating?
Is it my physical strength, stamina and flexibility?
Is it my ability to focus and concentrate?
Is it my ability to be patient with myself and practice self-care?
Am I practicing in a compulsive, driven way, focused on outcomes (mastering a pose) or is my practice creative, and open to unexpected insights?
And finally, this: As a result of spending an hour a day practicing here, what version of myself am I bringing into the world?
This is Day 1 of the Main Street Yoga April Yoga Challenge.