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Navigating Change Through Yoga

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Facebook post from student

Sharing this little post from a student (with permission) because I think at many points of our lives we'll experience similar situations, and navigating changes in life can be challenging. Change can come in many forms, from finding out that our favourite food has been sold out, to changing jobs, relocating to a different country, parents passing away, having kids, going through divorce, experiencing chronic illness and the list goes on.

Some of these changes can be exciting, but it can also be stressful, and sometimes we struggle to cope with it, or to make decisions when needed. Here are a couple of practices on navigating change through yoga:

Take Small Steps

We all feel frazzled from having to deal with too many things at the same time because it feels like nothing gets done.

'There's just so much to do after having a kid - the house is always messy, there's so much laundry and I barely have time for myself'

Take things one step at a time, give yourself a pat on the back for those little steps taken, and get all the help that you can from others when needed. It's tough asking for help if you've been strong and independent all your life, but it also deepens connections in many ways. Let yourself open up and be vulnerable when things start to constantly weigh you down.

Set an Intention

When faced with an overwhelming situation, our bodies are pushed into a fight or flight mode where we react really quickly, sometimes without looking at the big picture. In class I often remind students every time they come into an intense stretch to zoom out and notice different parts of the body - the drama might be on one small area but when we zoom out, we'll probably notice that it is often a cumulative effect from tensing up other parts of the body and also the mind. Being able to zoom out will also allow you to focus on what you truly want based on your core values, and having a focus helps to create a constant amidst the changes.

Let Go of Things Beyond Your Control

These changes that come along in life can also come with a lot of decision making. Occasionally, we'd hold back just because we're unsure about the outcome.

'What if people think that I'm the bad person?'

'What if things get worse?'

We can't control what others think about us and we can't predict the future, so put that energy into working on bringing you towards where you want to be. Understand that nothing is permanent, and we'll always be a work in progress. Keep going.

Practice Contentment

It's pretty easy to feel unhappy when the changes don't seem to be in our favour. We'll start to drown ourselves in self-pity and feel like the whole world is against us.

'Why am the only one who always fall out of balancing poses?'

'Why me? Why take my kid away from me when I've given all I can?'

But what about all the things that we have and all the things that we can do? What about the support given throughout? Catch yourself when that negative thought loop starts, and redirect your attention.

If you are going through some changes in your life, my hope is for you to be able to embrace them a little better, and come out of the experience stronger.


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