Leap of Faith

Teaching yoga and or meditation, takes a leap of faith at times.  As teachers, our hope is to be able to share with others, practices that we have found meaningful as well as helpful and to be able to convey it in such a way that it inspires others to want to try.


It can be quite daunting to be at the front of a class with many expectant faces looking back at you, knowing you only have a short amount of time in which to try to get most, if not all of your students, on board with the theme of your teaching.  This would strike fear through the heart of anyone, not just us yoga teachers.


Introducing a new or challenging posture or sequence brings with it many factors, and often it is fear that underlies many of the emotions we experience.  Trying something new or outside our comfort zone can set off any number of thought processes, so our yoga mat is a wonderful place to be able to reflect on how we approach these new possibilities in our lives.  


Can we embrace the experience with an open heart?  Or do we immediately drop-in to the myriad of self-defeating thoughts that run in the background?  Perhaps we can, just maybe, step up to the challenge, being mindful of all our thoughts and fears, but with a willingness to be present to the experience however it turns out?



I am often reminded of the story of Hanuman, the Hindu Monkey God, who is said to have taken one mighty leap that stretched all the way from the south of India to the Himalayas, in order to pick a herb that grew exclusively there in order to save the life of Rama's brother, Laksmana, who had been severely wounded in battle.  This he did as an act of pure devotion.


From a yoga practice perspective, Hanumanasana asks that we stretch our legs completely (thus embodying the amazing leap that Hanuman had taken) culminating in the splits.  Whilst I often joke that it is not a posture that is on the practice agenda, it requires devotion, that any obstacle can be overcome when met with respect and a deep sense of understanding that anything may indeed be possible.


So next time, whether on your yoga mat or the mat of life, you come up against an obstacle, ask yourself, can I release the inner resistance that I'm feeling and instead, take that leap of faith?

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