Your Mind is Your Greatest Asset in Yoga

06 Jul 2017

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GUEST POST: Sanjay Lavoipierre

How much time do you spend watching the play of your thoughts? Are you on a mission to alter the habitual way you think and react?

This is what it means to embrace the complete meaning of yoga. This is beyond mindful awareness – this is mindful understanding.

It is difficult to know which direction to take with all the beautiful Instagram photos and new ways that yoga is presented. But it has always been my firm belief that there is nothing really new, there is nothing that has not yet been conveyed. As humans we are easily distracted and like to be entertained with the idea that something is new – makes it more exciting somehow.

What happens when we let go of the excitement and truly get down and dirty with ourselves? What you might expect – struggle, frustration, and a hell of a lot of motivation to keep going. Doesn’t sound as pleasant as buying that new pair of awesome leggings which will ‘make my practice so much better.’ But in order to truly change we have to let go of our present, comfortable existence that supports an inflated sense of self-worth. It’s not until we become uncomfortable that we begin to make changes.

It is then we will begin to see and experience a deeper, more open version of ourselves – and a whole lot more HAPPINESS.

This doesn’t mean that buying those leggings is the wrong move – no, not at all. It means that we understand that even without those leggings our practice will continue. Because we are focused on what is happening on the inside – THIS IS MEDITATION. Meditation is such an important part of your practice. This is not the lying down ‘meditation’ at the end of your physical practice. A life-supporting, habit-changing meditation practice is one that aids mental growth and opens your heart. It helps you feel content even in adverse situations and brings an understanding about the ‘other.’ Whenever we can feel another being and see life through their eyes we instantly let go of all of our own problems. Over time this means we feel a more consistent sense of gratitude, sense of peace, which is the essence of meditation.

If you are not meditating start today. A student recently told me after just two weeks of meditation that her yoga practice of 15 years has had a complete turn around. There is now lightness and more breath awareness. And not only that, but her life off the mat has also eased.

It may look like not much is happening from the outside, but once you start you will find there is a whole other universe buzzing away in there. Start small and then grow it. You will never look back…


 

About the author:

Sanjay Lavoipierre has been meditating for over 20 years. He has had the privilege of studying in many traditions but attributes his deepest mind practices to the Mahayana Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, studied at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. His last meditation retreat of 3 months was based on special Buddhist practices for purification, practicing daily for 8+hrs and observing silence and the required vows during this time. Sanjay’s daily practice includes Tibetan Buddhist Tantric meditation on compassion and wisdom.

Sanjay is the director of Phoenix Yoga Studios in Melbourne. Here he teaches regular courses on Mahayana Buddhist meditation practices and philosophy.

 

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