Yoga is a Metaphor

I am super into yoga. I am surprised to say this as I have been a runner for the last 20 years and rarely ever even stretched after my daily runs. I viewed stretching as a waste of time and avoided it like the plague. That all changed when my body began to hurt. I reached a point when daily running without stretching was leading to hip pain, back pain and knee pain. Yippie for aging! Anyway – so I started to go to yoga occasionally so I could become a better runner. Slowly, but surely, yoga sucked me in – hot yoga specifically. Before I realized it, I was taking a yoga class instead of running. It was taking the place of running rather than supporting it. I explain all of this to share the epiphany I had in class last night.

I take a number of different classes each week offered by a variety of instructors. The hot yoga classes I take lead you through a variety of poses and movements in a specific order, the same each time no matter the instructor. The difference is the focus of the instructor. One instructor is focused on flexibility. She looks to push us to deepen our stretches. Another instructor might focus on developing strength. The classes might hold our planks and other poses longer. Another instructor is focused on relaxation and meditation. His focus in on maintaining our breathing and clearing our minds. There are probably countless other ways an instructor can lead a hot yoga class and each one can use the same sequence of steps in completely different ways.

Life is the same. Many of us go through the same steps in similar sequence each day – we get up, maybe exercise, go to work, care for our families, spend time with friends, and take care of our responsibilities. Though we do much the same things every day, the meaning we subscribe to them or the purpose we derive from them alters our experience. Determine what you are working toward and move in that direction. You are only in a rut if you do not have a goal in mind. Is your focus developing your career or caretaking for your family or improving yourself? Whatever your goal – focus your energy. The same steps become something different depending on your goals.

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