Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Finding Your Place

By Healingyoga

There are times in my life that I've felt a sense of belonging, whether it was in a particular circumstance, surrounding, group of people, or with one person. Then there have been times when I've felt like a square peg being forced into a round hole, wondering, "Where the heck are the other square pegs and why aren't there any square holes?" Both experiences have proved to be interesting and informative (and, yes, sometimes hurtful).

When I slow down enough, I notice that my mindset influences which side of the coin I land on. I can remember one vivid instance that took place at a day-long yoga workshop. Having gotten lost on the way to the workshop, I arrived in a bit of a frazzled state (I don't like being late). My mind was racing with all sorts of thoughts. As I tried to settle in, I looked around the room and didn't find anyone that I knew or recognized. Everyone seemed to know one another and many of my fellow workshop attendees were in conversation. I sat on my mat, mind whirling, feeling a bit...out of place. 

Then the yoga practice began. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the practice, if the serene expressions on their faces were any indication. I, on the other hand, was feeling a bit off. I wasn't really enjoying the practice. In fact, I found myself wondering if I should have even signed up for this particular workshop. 

Yep, feeling out of place doesn't feel so hot. Truth be told, I was putting myself out of place in regards to this workshop. Rather than focusing on the past and the future, I could have put my brain -- and the rest of myself -- in the present. I could have struck up a conversation with one of the people near me who wasn't already in a conversation. I could have enjoyed the practice rather than judge it in my mind. I could have placed myself in the room rather than choose to separate myself.

Luckily, I figured this out somewhat quickly and by lunchtime I was chatting with some new friends and thoroughly enjoying the day's scheduled events. By the end of the workshop, I was thinking, "What fun! I definitely have to come back next year." Hmmmm...what a difference the mind makes. 

When you're in a situation, whether it's on your yoga mat or out in the world, how does your thinking or your presence -- or lackthereof -- affect your feeling of belonging? If you're in yoga class and your mind is wandering here, there, and everywhere, do you feel like you're not part of the class or not as peaceful as the other students or not as skilled? When you are feeling that sense of belonging (maybe you're sipping a tea at your favorite yoga studio thinking, "Ah, this is my place and these are my people."), what's running through your mind?

Feel free to discuss here and/or explore on your own, please. [said in my best teacher voice] Rather than take my word for it or take my ramblings as truth, why not test it out yourself and see what you come up with?

And since we're on the topic of place, here are a few points of interest:

  • If you're interested in gaining some awareness around where your brain tends to spend most of its time -- the past, present, or future -- check out this fun free resource called Mind Time Maps. Here you'll find a brief questionnaire that will help you "locate you in the world of thinking." I did it myself and thought it was quite interesting.
  • If you're looking for all things yoga in one place, there's a new yoga networking site called Yoga Stage. This newly-launched site can hook you up with local yoga classes and teachers as well as yoga workshops and yoga-related events. 
  • If your place is that of a yoga teacher but your resources are limited, then check out this yoga teacher training scholarship program. From now through November 18 you  can enter to win a chance at full tuition to a yoga teacher training program. Good luck!

I'd also like to give a shout-out to Tracey and Tamara, the winners of the Live T-Shirt giveaway. Congratulations, ladies! I'll be in touch with details.


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