How you do anything is how you do everything. Take a moment to read that sentence again, and fully absorb the meaning in these words, for it is one of the truest statements I have found.
How you do anything is how you do everything.
In short it means that how you handle and manage ANY situation, challenge or experience in your life is how you probably handle ALL of them.
Although this adage is true for all of your life (not just yoga) I believe it is one of THE most important lessons to be learned from your yoga practice.
On the yoga mat and through meditation we discover who we REALLY are, and there is no escaping it. Our deep erroneous beliefs, our attitudes and our emotional reactive patterns are all very simply brought into focus. These habitual and unconscious responses to life (samskaras), strategies we learned as a child to get our needs met and survive here in the world, are exposed every time we step onto our mat.
The yoga studio/class becomes a microcosm to the macrocosm of your life. The way you approach a difficult yoga pose is the way you deal with anything difficult in life. Do you face it head on and seek to conquer it or do you give up at the first sign of challenge? Are you able to remain focused throughout the practice or do you drift off into fantasy worlds and become scattered?
Practicing arm-balances poses can fill some students with doubt and fear, whilst others can't wait to have a go, even if it means falling flat on their face! The parallels can be drawn here to any situation in life that may sprout fear and/or self-doubt. Such a pose shows you how you may react to life's challenges with fear and self-doubt. This microcosm then becomes a chance to change your perspective and approach to life by practicing the arm balance over and over again, until you are free from fear and doubt and filled with inner strength and self-belief. These new inner resources are then echoed in life and we become a more balanced individual. Maybe you aren't fearful of arm balances, but you get frustrated with yourself that you can't "do" it. Maybe you fear failure so you don't bother trying. Maybe you get jealous when you see another student hold the pose and blame your genes for your not being strong enough. Our maybe you know you’ve mastered arm balances and want to show them off to the rest of class and the teacher, in order to be centre of attention.
Perhaps there are a lot of beginners in class so the teacher has to give them more attention and slow the pace down. Are you annoyed that the class is so slow?
You could just be enjoying a change of pace and a chance to look at the basics again. This can show you how resistant you are to change in general.
Yoga shows you who you are... competitive, critical, self-conscious, cautious, careful, scared, lazy, resistant to change, impatient, hyper OR maybe calm, willing, patient, open-minded, spiritual, strong, determined, disciplined, adventurous.
So, how is your yoga practice reflecting back to you how you live your life?
This is one of the reasons why a daily yoga practice has such a profound affect on your day-to-day existence. Ashtanga yoga acts like a daily course of therapy for you to bare your soul and work through your inner demons and blind spots. And the results are then carried forward into your relationships, your work environments and your sense of self.
So, don't forget:
HOW YOU DO ANYTHING IS HOW YOU DO EVERYTHING!!
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