Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Inside First, Outside Second

By Healingyoga

Buddha-present

I'm currently indulging in the relaxing downtime that I so enjoy during the time between Christmas and New Years. As I slow down, the inevitable happens -- I get those lovely intuitive hits about where I am and where I need to go. This past year I've gone especially far and I'm experiencing a deep sense of happiness and peace unlike anything I've felt before. Yes, a lot of stuff has happened on the outside -- I've had changes in relationships, work, location, etc. In order for all of those things to happen, a lot of stuff on the inside needed to change.

As I sit on the precipice of a new year -- and in many ways, a whole new life -- I find myself most grateful for the internal changes (although I certainly do appreciate the external changes as well) that have brought me to this place. In the riddle of "what comes first, the chicken or the egg?" I know that the answer lies in what's inside; you change the inside first and that's when things on the outside start to change (so I suppose in this scenario, it would be the egg that starts it all). Now that I'm taking some quiet time, it's easier for me to acknowledge and appreciate all of the internal transformation that often gets lost in the static of daily life. 

As I think about the new year, rather than write down goals that are outside-oriented, I'm focusing instead on what I want to have happen inside. How do I want to be in life? How do I want to feel? What do I want my day-to-day experience to be? I know that everything else will spring forth from that. It sure will be interesting to see how it all turns out/translates into the outside world. It's sort of like the best kind of surprise that one could receive.

So here are a few things that will help you slow down, tune in, and do some of the inner work that leads to the sweet stuff in life: 

  • Whenever I slow down -- especially if I've been going through a particularly busy time in my life -- I tend to gravitate towards hip opening poses. In fact, it's not uncommon for my yoga practice to be made up solely of hip openers. Check out this wonderful list that includes all of my favorites. 
  • Since I just spoke about transforming the inside in order to change what's going on outside, I think that this wonderful article by John Douillard is quite fitting. Your emotional footprint isn't just something that you should think about during the holidays but all year long. Try following the advice here and notice what happens in your outer world after changing your inner world.
  • If you're longing to make some internal changes and want to learn/try something new, why not try one (or both) of these virtual yoga events: 
  1. YogaHub's 3rd Annual World Yoga Conference (this year's theme is Yoga, Meditation, and the Philosopher's Stone)
  2. Sofia Diaz's 7-week digital yoga practice entitled Buddhayana Yoga: The Yogic Art of Sitting, Standing, and Walking

     Both events are relatively inexpensive and a great way to kick off the new year (and since they   are virtual, no travel is required).

Here's to slowing down, inner transformation, and a new year filled with serendipitous wonder (all of that stuff that happens on the outside is merely icing on the cake)!

Namaste!


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