Life Coach Magazine

Reflections from My Yoga Mat

By Malavika


The yoga of growth

I watch my body change over time.

The things I don’t think I can do, after some time, I can do it. That feels like growth to me.

I try to do each asana properly, I might not be able to do it to its full expression, but I do what I can in the right way.

That is speaking in the language of my body. When I do this, it listens, it learns, it opens and evolves.

Eventually, that knee will straighten, the spine will lengthen, the inner restless energy will find its stillness and balance.

Your mind will give up before your body does

Hold it. Hold it. Stay in this moment. My GOD, that hurts in a way I didn’t know was possible. 

I can’t. I give up – my mind gives up.

And then my body crumples as gracefully as I can on to my mat.

But through breath and consciousness, I can intercept that small space between my mind and my body. I can say “I know you want to give up. But you don’t have to.”

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.

But at least I got the conversation started.

The sweet pain of the stretch

It hurts in all the right ways.

It teaches me to feel uncomfortable and be with that feeling. It teaches me endurance and tolerance.

Life can be so uncomfortable sometimes. People and relationships can make me feel uncomfortable. But I can be with that feeling, just like I am with that feeling when I stretch.

The truth is, i’m not as tolerant as I would like to be. I’m not as tolerant as I need to be to live in a beautiful way.

And what is it to stretch?

It is the stretch of opening up a little bit more than I am used to. The sweet pain of it.

Yoga does that for me.

And so does life.

Flexibility and balance

After a few days off the mat, my concern is loss of flexibility.

I haven’t stretched in 5 days – my body is going to feel so stiff today at practice.

And yet, the body remembers flexibility and brings me back faster than I thought.

Balance. Now that’s what’s tough.

Meditation is the highest form of yoga

Everything else; the flexibility, the fitness – it’s just a side effect.

Yoga without breath is like an Opera without the music.

Yoga with a burning question

I begin each practice with a question. And this question burns in my heart.

Who am I?

I yoga for the answer.

At first, my answer was – Malavika.

And then that deepened in to my aspirations, my dreams, my desires, my visions for life.

But lately, my answer has been just “life, life, life, life, life.”

That was the only answer that made me weep.

Keep coming back to the mat

Sometimes I don’t feel like practicing.

I think to myself “Today, I don’t feel like practicing. And now, I am going to practice.”

30 day challenge: Poses I love to hate / hate to love

There are certain asanas that I love to hate/hate to love. I avoid practicing them, because it pushes me out of all my comfort zones.

So I intend to devote a little time, love and practice towards one of my choosing each month.

It isn’t too much. It’s just one asana, just once a day, for 30 days.

I am going to start with my handstand. I feel unusually uncomfortable being an inversion supported by my arms. Strange, because I feel quite comfortable in a headstand. My arm strength is also so weak that it is difficult for me to hold myself up for very long. My current ability to do a handstand is none.

So I will begin here.

I will begin against a wall. That is all I know for now.



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