Yoga – Choose Your Reaction
Yoga is scientifically proven to strengthen the central nervous system (CNS). This allows us to control our reactions in response to stressors imposed on us from outside – quite often by other people but also circumstances that are beyond our control. Put simply, yoga helps us to develop a shield wall or buffer providing an opportunity to choose our reaction to external events. This strengthening of the CNS is achieved via the asanasAsanas: Postures but also through life guidance offered by the Yamas and Niyamas.
It’s not about Avoidance
Yoga is not about avoiding life – it’s about experiencing it to the full. We’re not looking to lock ourselves away in a yogic bubble where we’re totally protected from the slings and arrows of the world around us. It’s about creating a space where those arrows can land and simply have no effect, or even better provide a learning experience. Under these conditions, we can easily involve ourselves in frustrating situations whilst choosing not to become frustrated. We can engage with annoying people and choose not to feel annoyed.
Choose a measured response
Yoga allows us to shift from reaction to a measured response. This is largely due to the understanding that all feeling is generated from within. If you feel angry, that anger may have been triggered by something that happened or someone else’s words, but that feeling of anger is created by you – after all, who else could have created it? In the same way, happiness is created by you. If you could figure out how to invoke those emotions and bring them under control just think how much easier life could be.
Easy peasy? Not really!
Of course, this isn’t as easy as flicking a switch – it takes work and a lot of practise which in itself can be quite enjoyable. It’s certainly preferable to a lifetime of reaction and suffering! Yoga teaches us that we have a choice, it also teaches us how to create the space to make that choice.
We can’t control the things that happen around us, we can’t control how other people act and react but the understanding that we control our reactions and emotions in response to those events is huge! This ability doesn’t stop the pain, but it can certainly arrest the suffering, suffering is therefore totally optional!
Who’d have thought it 🙂