Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Times They are a Changing

In Sanskrit there is a word “samskara” which roughly translated means grooves or patterns.  Patterns that have been imprinted into us.  The ways in which I chose to cope with hard times, grief and anger in the past have not always been positive.  I would fall back on negative behaviors because that is where I thought I found comfort.  It was the grooves, the samskaras that I knew and would default to.  Yoga has allowed me to change these patterns, to replace them with healthy behaviors and reactions.  
“The bad news about samskaric grooves is that as long as the negative ones are in place, it's hard to escape the limitations imposed by our personal history. The good news, however, is that we can change those grooves. The brain is so fluid and malleable, so prone to take and hold impressions, that when we keep leading it into new pathways, the accumulation of new insights, practices, and experiences will eventually overwhelm the old ones and, given the right circumstances, even eliminate them entirely.”
~Sally Kempton , (
I had a realization on Tuesday that if yoga was not a part of my life my current state of transition would be quite different.  How I have coped with negative things in my life has certainly shifted. If what I have been going through recently had occurred three years ago I would guess that I would not be as healthy as I am right now.  I would be eating differently, probably smoking a whole lot and drinking alcohol on a much more regular basis (because you know I have time to do so).  I have however turned inside, turned to what was within me, and strengthened my yoga practice.  This has then strengthened my mind, my body and my spirit.  Now I am not perfect there have been some pints of ice cream (consumed in one sitting), cigarettes smoked and beer drank but that has not been what I looked towards for comfort and support.  I have found that what I need to cope, survive and even thrive has existed within me and yoga has been the path that has simply allowed for it to come out.
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” ~Buddha
What are those patterns in your life that you default to?  Is it because it is 'what is easy'? Or is it because it is what best serves you?

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