Bondage and Yoga

Sneaky title huh ; )

 

I recently got back from a family trip in Mexico. Before I left, I decided this time I would commit to my daily morning yoga practice while I was on vacation. In the past there when times where I would keep up with my asana practice , and then there when other times where I never did so much as a downward dog. So the day before I left, I went to Lululemon and purchased a travel mat that I could stuff into my suitcase. When I arrived to our hotel I put it out as a reminder to step onto my mat each morning. And I did. (see a video of my morning practice at the link at the bottom of the page).

 

There are certain habits that I've come to think of as my "non-negotiables" (like my daily yoga practice). After feeling and noticing their positive effects, I've made them a priority in my day-to-day life.

 

Once you recognize the value of certain practices, the next step is creating strong boundaries around them to guarantee they happen. Otherwise, you fall victim to circumstance or other people's schedule and demands.

 

In the Tantric Yoga tradition there is a belief that we are inherently free (in Sanskrit, the word is svatantrya ). We are free to act, speak, and think in whatever way we choose. The problem is we often don't take ownership of that freedom.

 

I might be going out on a ledge here but I'll just assume that we all want to be free. We all want to feel in control of our thoughts, words and actions. But how often does the pull of old habits or old friends or family (damn peer pressure!) take us in the opposite direction of where we want to go? How do we take back our power and live in alignment with our highest intentions and deepest desires so we can know our own freedom?

 

One of my philosophy teachers Douglas Brooks would always say, "Yoga is to bind oneself exquisitely". It's through creating meaningful boundaries and a strong container around what we value and what is best for us that we can truly experience our freedom.

 

Yoga is a path of exquisite bondage - Douglas Brooks

 

When we commit to what we hold dear and cherish, we are solidifying our freedom of choice. On the other hand, when we're bound by other people or external circumstances, we give up that freedom. In short, we fall victim.

 

Appropriate boundaries create integrity - Jewish proverb

 

Creating boundaries doesn’t come easily. It takes discipline to stay faithful to our promises. Boundaries require inner strength and taking a stand for what's important. They ask you to take responsibility for your health and happiness. It requires that we first know what we need and then make it known to those around you (boundaries are as much for you as they are for your relationships-I made an arrangement with my husband to watch the kids so I could do my yoga practice). Owning our freedom requires effort. Once we do the work of defining and strengthening our boundaries, we can experience our innate freedom.

 

Contemplations:

  • What are the non-negotiables in your life? What self-care practices do you know you NEED to feel whole?
  • Who do you need to inform about your boundaries in order to make them happen?
  • What boundaries do you need to create ?

#lifestyleforrebels

 

Here's a peak into my morning practice:

Lagunamar Flow 2014 - Small