As a species evolution is inherent to our existence. Over the course of millions of years the human species developed to what we embody today. Progression is something that we as individuals and a collective continue to endeavors upon. Change is inevitable.
In yoga, we learn that resistance to change causes Dukkha (suffering). One of the greatest teachings of yoga is to welcome, with wide open arms, the rhythms of change by committing to always place yourself in an evolutionary space. This place can be thought of as soil, rich with nutrients from your own experience and fertilized by the presence of other beings. Relationships are the great mirror, when in connection to other beings, we are usually poked, pushed, and triggered. But with the right mind-set this is exactly what we want to have happen. It is in the push that we dig deep to polish our own lens of perspective, so that despite circumstance we are full of Sukha (pleasure).
What it means to be in an evolutionary place is that you inhabit a continual space of transformation. Mother Nature is a great example of this, she tells us through the seasons that the movement from one form to the next is a natural cycle. From the dead, barren and brown winter she transforms to the hopeful buds of spring. The millions of seeds from spring find their full bloom in summer. And summer fades to the wild and vibrant colors of fall. Then we start the cycle all over again…this is the definition of transformation. We are always being renewed, if we give ourselves permission.
There are things that you can do to nurture the seeds of change in your own life.
1.) Be a eternal student: put yourself in the position to always be learning new things. Train for a triathlon, learn how to play an instrument, take a photography class etc. The sky is the limit! A beginners mind is a methodology practiced in yoga to keep us free from falling down the rabbit hole of ego and habitual patterns. This requires being vulnerable because you are trying something new. Which is a therapeutic and healthy exercise for all of us.
2.) Have a flexible schedule: be willing to go with the flow. When everything in your life is predictable and stead fast it leaves little to no room for practicing adaptability. We have to be willing to throw in life’s little wild cards here and there so that we don’t fall prey to getting stuck in certain ways of being. Ways that might be outdated or too small, but we are so used to them that they remain a permanent fixture when they need to be recycled or throw out. In yoga we are most obviously practicing flexibility of the body, but a subtle and perhaps more important practice is flexibility of the mind.
3.) Maintain active relationships: people give us the strongest reflections. Life would be far less complex without relationships, especially close ones. Because we are human and having unique experiences we are bound to bump into one others beliefs, values, opinions and presences. Often there is texture and perhaps agitation in this game of bumper cars. When you are affected either negatively or positively by someone else’s actions or words it is because they are reflecting something to you. Each time this happens you are gifted with the opportunity to grow. We have a choice in receiving these reflections with an open heart. saying yes to this choice allows for an incredible amount of potential for you to progress as an individual and learn something invaluable about yourself in the process.
4.) Be playful: don’t forget about the kid in you. Often as adults, especially those of us on a conscious path, take ourselves so seriously. When you give yourself permission to play is offers an outlet for the inner child. When this channel isn’t open and life hits us with all the mysterious and unpredictable ways that it does, the inner child that has been dormant shows his/her face in an unhealthy way. So have fun! Life is simply too short not to.
5.) Practice Yoga: the template for transformation. Yoga is the art of evolutionary existence. A committed practice bears the fruits of transforming the body and mind. Yoga is the liquid elixir that lubricates places of stagnation within us. Drink up, the spirit is thirsty for change. Yoga stimulates and exercises the muscles of evolution, so that as responsible members of community and conscious individuals we are willing to seek and source our own wholeness-which is an evolving prescription, as unique as we are human. If you are a seasoned practitioner make space for trying new types of yoga, new teachers or cultivating a home practice. Like anything else yoga can become a place where we get stuck in our ways and lose our sense of adventure and curiosity.
Change can be scary. When life gives you moments, glimpses, windows of time to let the waves of change renew the shores of your experience, give of yourself completely. It is change that is the catalyst for our biggest transformations-the places that hold us in the revolving door of evolution.