Teacher Feature – Jodi Darlage

Is it possible to burn off our self-defeating thoughts through our yoga practice? The ancient sages were on to something here and I would have to wholeheartedly agree with them. Think about when you awaken refreshed from a yummy class and blissful savasana. The mind is quiet, the heart is at peace and you feel rejuvenated. Whatever limiting patterns you may have carried into the room and onto your mat may have been swept away during your practice. However, in our daily lives many of us find ourselves consumed and even controlled by our thoughts and it can become nearly impossible to hit the pause button of the mind. Yet, at a much deeper level those thoughts can become permanent storylines implanted in the mind and can start to limit our way of being. These imprints or seed habit patterns of the subconscious mind are coined samskaras. A healthy level of external samskaras is needed to help us keep those patterns from becoming fully recycled into our normal behavior. However, when our samskaras penetrate deep within the cellular layer of the body they become internalized, rooted and can start to hold us back physically and emotionally. This is when we must begin to learn to let go and release those stuck patterns in order to create space for peace, happiness and opening in our lives. Do we face samkaras when we approach a difficult pose on the mat or find ourselves in a challenging circumstance off the mat? Do we stuff those samskaras deeper into the subtle ethereal body? Or can we begin to acknowledge our negative patterns without judgment and simply let go?

We all come to the yoga mat for a variety of reasons and each day, month and year those reasons change. When I first came to the mat, I was recovering from an injury sustained while racing in a Triathlon. At the time, I had little concept of anything beyond the physical benefits of yoga let alone this idea of samskaras. From that first day I stepped on my mat to the present moment I was awakened to an entirely magical carpet ride experience and an opportunity to begin to address my own samskaras. We will soon be leaving 2010 behind and welcoming in a beautiful New Year. What samskaras do you wish to leave behind as you manifest more space for health, healing and happiness in 2011?

This Saturday, December 4th from 4-6pm in Arlington I will be leading a mid Holiday Detox Workshop where we will continue to melt away our limiting thoughts and behaviors. Or if you desire a weeklong self-care retreat, come join me May 28th- June 4th in Puerto Escondido, Mexico! Surf off those negative imprints of the mind and release your cares to the outgoing tide of Mother Ocean.

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