“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” ― Leo Tolstoy
But, changing ourselves is where we start.
Because, when you become aware enough, you begin to realize that the world that you see in front of you is vividly colored by your perceptions.
The world that you are living in is in fact called Maya, in sanskrit. Illusion.
That is not to say that you're living a lie, or that the wall in front of you is not actually there, or that you're living in a movie set.
It means that the life you are living, and the experiences you are having, are based on how you perceive the world to be. This perception is based on your past experiences, your upbringing, societal expectations, and the lack of ability or willingness or understanding that you are just an observer in this body in this lifetime.
I could smell a perfume wafting by and think it smells like summer and happiness. You could smell the same perfume and be transported back to your grandmother's deathbed and feel sorrow. (I took it dark there, I know. I'm sorry.) The smell is the same. Our experiences of it are different. Therefore our responses to it are different.
I don't hesitate to reach my hand out to a new dog, because history has shown me that I can trust dogs. You may have been bit as a child, and your history tells you you can't trust dogs. We will see a dog in the street and have different reactions.
It's the same reason we close our hearts off the love when we've been hurt, why we settle into our ways and refuse to believe that anything could be different, why we don't even know that we have the ability to change.
Yoga taught me that we can change the world. Starting with ourselves. Because the world relies on US to exist in the way that it does. In our eyes, rather. The world will go on existing with our without us, but we have the ability to view the world through our perceptions. Change our perceptions and we change the world.
So I encourage you to begin to find that change in yourself. Begin to work on who you are and how you see things from the inside out.
Use the tools that yoga gives you to take a step back from your thoughts and notice what they're telling you.
Notice how you respond to things, how you react.
Sit in meditation and contemplate.
Or move your body, like in today's class, and FEEL the changes settling in.
It all starts with you taking that first step. And I hope it's as transformative for you as it has been for me!
This week's class is a full length Fluid Interval Yoga for Change.
Make sure you carve out an hour to challenge your body and mind and I'll meet you on the mat!