Part of the joy of yoga practice is all of the “Aha moments” it brings. It’s almost inevitable that all of that time spent training our bodies and minds through asanas, kriyas, and meditation will provide insight about the inner workings of our minds and emotions. Perhaps the resistance you feel towards a particular yoga practice may help you recognize your resistance towards certain situations or people in your life. Or if you experience vulnerability in heart opening postures, it may mean you feel vulnerable opening up to people. After having one of these Aha moments, be sure to grab hold of the momentum it brings so you can continue to learn and grow as a person.
In my own life I recently had one of these Aha moments. I do not wear white clothing. That has been true for nearly half my life at this point. I never thought much of it until I met some Kundalini yogis. No one gave me a hard time about my chosen wardrobe, which includes a lot of black, but I still felt quite threatened by all of the white clothes. Once Spirit Voyage began the Radiant Body Sadhana, I knew it was time to give white clothing a fair try. I went out and bought myself a white top and a pair of white pants, and slowly began incorporating white into my yoga wardrobe.
One night after yoga, I looked in the mirror and a thought popped into my head – “I wear black to protect myself, to make myself appear stronger and tougher.” Aha! As a fairly petite and shy person, I’ve always felt the need to look tough and unapproachable, a scrawny Hell’s Angel perhaps, to try to stave off getting hurt. Wearing black doesn’t actually make me more powerful, it just gives that illusion. When I realized that, I decided it’s time to really embrace the process of building inner strength so I don’t have to rely on something external like clothing to give me that boost.
When you experience your own Aha moments, it’s a sign that your psyche is ready to make a change. There are many things you can do to support yourself, depending on what sort of change is called for:
Practicing yoga each day is very helpful. If you don’t have much time, or are working through something major, start small. 15 minutes a day is wonderful. Small backbends like baby cobra will eventually turn into the most heart opening Wheel pose the world has ever seen. Devoting yourself to a consistent practice, even if it is not very long or particularly strenuous, will pave the way for stagnant energy to move out of the body and for big changes to happen in the long term.
Mantra pairs wonderfully with physical yoga practice. Use mantras such as “Jai Te Gung” or “Chattr Chakkra Vartee” to remove fears and build courage. Calm mantras like “Ra Ma Da Sa” and “Guru Ram Das” promote healing. Whether you recite your chosen mantra 11 times a day, for 11 minutes a day, or whatever works best for you, saying it with focus and intention daily will help to clear your mind and shift your emotions.
Make a lifestyle change. Our habits say a lot about us. My habit of leaving my things lying around cluttered is not only annoying to those around me, but also shows that my mind is often cluttered and not as focused as it could be. Reaching for cookies or chips and lounging in front of the tv all evening can be a sign that one is checking out from reality rather than engaging it. If you are looking to make a change, think about temporarily adjusting some of your habits. Making a point of going for a walk everyday after work, or giving up ice cream for a month is a way to signal your mind that you are taking your Aha moment seriously.