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Habits, the principal obstacle of Yoga

By 1 March 2020 No Comments
ROMA

Habits, whether they are stressful, reassuring or comforting, plunge us into a state of drowsiness opposed to the state of Yoga.

The state of Yoga is a state of alertness, presence and constant awareness.

What is a habit?

Habits are all these gestures and ways of apprehending life that take place automatically. They make us act without having taken the time or the space to explore or consider what wanted to present itself to us in this new moment.

These habits take the form of thoughts that are rooted in our beliefs. Beliefs, which themselves, have their roots in beliefs rooted in our families, our culture, our surroundings, our personal experiences or in a Yoga class for example! …

How many times when you walk you realize that you have walked at least 500 meters without noticing?

or

You end up with a cup of tea in your hands and you don’t remember how it got there?

Even more, you decide to do a Yoga posture and in 2 seconds you are already in the posture?

Does that sound normal to you?

Of course since you have already done it and therefore you already know what to do!

Beep – False route

The moment you decided to do the posture was a new moment so in no case could you have known how to do it.

Being present with your body requires attentive listening to the moment, listening and discovering what wants to reveal itself to you in the present moment.

To do this, you start by listening to the feeling that is presented to you and you do not immediately engage in what you can do.

From there, you explore following the flow of the movement which is revealed step by step.

From this movement, it is possible that the entire posture is revealed. But this, only if your attention, your subtle listening is sufficiently developed to keep you in a state of presence during all this time. Otherwise, you stop and explore the next and new moment that is offered to you.

There you are alive, present, whole, in the practice of Yoga.

Where can I start to go from a state of passivity to active listening ?

You question your habits.

Since you do not know in advance what you are going to have to question, you will have to listen to what comes to you from the inside, where your feelings translate into thoughts. You can’t choose to let go only what you want.

The practice requires you to give yourself completely to exploring your body by questioning your habits as soon as they become conscious.

You stop right now, you listen and you reorganize. So you create a surprise space and let the magic come in. Then you  develop the endurance of your subtle listening.

It’s now or no magic.

What I mean is that as soon as you notice a movement that you are doing without really knowing why, it is your commitment to your practice to say:

-“Stop”.

Indeed, each automatic movement turns out to be only a habit, an obstacle to all the wonderful and the surprising that could have happened in that moment.

So, instead of continuing with this movement, tell yourself:

– “I’m going to go but first I’m going to do something else. I’m going to go the opposite way to see what’s going on elsewhere for example… ”

Being aware of each of your gestures allows the unthinkable to surprise you :

To teach you, to free yourself from your static ways, and thus to grow, to have fun, to stay alive, united, in Yoga.

So, watch how you start each posture, stop and change direction, just to see if there is not something wonderful there …

There, now, at that time, you practice Yoga. In this search you become certain that  Union is coming. You feel it.

So, you relax into the pleasure of exploration.

Thank you for taking the time to read this far. I’m really glad I got you.

Enjoy your practice !

There is no Yoga without personal practice

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When I made contact with Florence, I knew this was going to be the start of something wonderful. She embodies all that I know of this yoga style, you can see it in the way she moves, it is the true nature of yoga, union of mind, body and spirit. Her teaching is ‘hands on’, guiding your attention to where you need to release, connect or be free. With her guidance, you feel safe to explore without the risk of going too far beyond your body’s limits.

Laraine Bridges

Yoga teacher, UK

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