Yoga and the Authentic Self
I must say, the last few years of my adult life have been my healthiest, happiest and most honest. I feel as if I have nothing to prove and nothing to defend. I can just be my “self” and feel good about it. Throughout my twenties, I was trying to create someone who I thought would be more likeable, stronger, less vulnerable. I constantly heard a voice in the back of my head questioning what I said and what I did. It was difficult for me to connect to others. Sometimes I made poor choices. I often felt insecure. I disliked my body, and treated it badly with over-exercise and disordered eating. I was unhappy. I was living in a manufactured self. How did I strip away the facade and begin to find my authentic self? Yoga helped. A LOT.
Most of us have something we prefer to conceal (whether it is a conscious choice or not). Physical or psychological trauma, addictions, disordered eating, chronic stress, depression are just a few examples. We often form an artificial persona to cope with the underlying problem, and our bodies pay the price. Physical tension, poor posture, dysfunction in our gut, decreased range of motion, insomnia, and breathing problems are often psychosomatic symptoms of issues that run much deeper. Our bodies are the messengers of our minds. Wouldn’t it be lovely to free ourselves from the burden of this persona and just “Be?”
If any of this resonates with you, I suggest trying a regular yoga practice.
I know some prefer not to practice the "spiritual" side of yoga. I get it! But yoga is not just about stretching and strengthening the body. It is not just about relaxation or the crazy contortions and arm balances you see on social media. Yoga is about stripping away all the clutter from the mind and all the constrains in the body. It is about freeing up the psyche from the delusions that we create. It is about keeping us connected to the present moment so we can see truth. Yoga is about getting to know YOURSELF. Plain and simple. Spirituality aside, we could all get to know ourselves a little better, right?
The authentic self can thrive in the ordinary day to day with spontaneity, compassion, and trust. It can connect with others. It can be free of the physical and emotional constrains. This true self can just "be" in the world and feel okay, no matter what. That means on good days and bad days, solo or in a group, with or without stress, this self is comfortable. It feels really good to be here.
Whether you have been practicing for years, or you have never stepped on to the mat, there are always opportunities to chip away at the manufactured self and dive a bit deeper. Need help getting started? Shoot me an email or give me a call. I am happy to answer questions or guide you in any way I can.