The Call to Courage

I recently watched a Netflix documentary by Brené Brown called The Call to Courage.

In it, the speaker talks about vulnerability, the spirit of being oneself in the world, of taking a stand, and how this often comes with feelings of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. Nevertheless, this is the only way for more intimacy, love, and joy.

I believe that the work that we do on our yoga mats is good practice. In the yoga room, we are to deal with ourselves day in and day out. Through the framework that the practice of yoga offers, once we engage ourselves wholeheartedly, we open up to who we are, embrace our shadows, understand our patterns and triggers. Then, our awareness sharpens, and our consciousness expands. In short, we grow.

Following up on a conversation with Santina Giardina - Chard in her latest intensive at the school, yoga postures are not ends by themselves, but tools to engage ourselves, opportunities to observe and refine. What was unconscious comes up, leaving us shaken at times. Hence, the quality of the work that we put, the regularity, and the intention are essential factors in our growth as yoga students and, above all, as humans.

One of our values at the school is personal accountability, taking full responsibility for what we do, say, think, and for how we feel. We are responsible for the way how we show up in the world. No one but us can rescue us, clear out our mess. We are accountable for the energy that we put forth. It is the inner that determines the outer, so the real work happens inside. Then, the outside shifts.

It is not through effort or force how our world change, but through our intention and regular, honest work. Runoff when something uncomfortable comes up, and it will keep coming back over and over. Same pattern, different scenarios. Samsara halahala, as the Ashtanga yoga opening mantra recites, "The bonding of our conditioned existence."

Sometimes things get tough on the mat and in life. Suffering is a catalyst for growth. This practice offers you the opportunity to leave your old ways behind and to cultivate the courage, the presence, and the drive to step into the unknown. It is uncomfortable but worth it, or only in the unexplored, real growth, freedom, and joy are found.

Leave your excuses at the door. Unroll your yoga mat. Do what you have to do.

Happy practicing.