Things to Keep in Mind when Starting Yoga or Counseling (Part 3 of 3)

After the concepts of Commitment, Self-Study, Balancing Effort and Ease, and Noticing...

You Are Engaging in a Process and a Journey

All of this awareness from yoga or counseling may lead to new intentions, new patterns, and the ability to make change. Some changes lead to direct, concrete corrections (e.g., trying out a particular skill when communicating with your partner) or relieve us of a pressure we had been holding (e.g., learning that it is okay to modify a yoga pose to accommodate your body’s specific needs or injuries).

Other times, we are aware that we are investing in a process by coming to counseling or our yoga mats. Some parts of the process will be quickly received and noticed; others we will find more challenging and harder to articulate. This process may take turns that we did not expect or plan for, or we may discover that it takes long-term practice to make shifts in patterns that we have held for many years. The steps in change vary in intensity or pace, and so it can be helpful to let go of expectations about how the process will go.

You Are More Than Your Problems


So often in a yoga class or counseling session, we start off with the litany of our symptoms, our injuries, or our limitations. While it is very important to know what to look for or what to work on, this practice can bring us into a place of scarcity that focuses on our faults and neglects our resources. It can also reinforce a traditional medical model of seeking out an expert because something is wrong with us.

We all have things we are working on... both on and off the mat. But we also have what yogis call the “True Self.” I like to think of this True Self as the part of us that connects to what is bigger than our everyday worries and that knows deep down that we really are okay just as we are. It is the part of us that can show up as we are in the final resting pose of savasana at the end of class or give us a sense of peace after a session even though the situations in our lives have not changed. My intention for clients is that they get to live in the True Self more often, arriving there through a process that teaches a balance of awareness and acceptance.