I have been thinking quite a bit lately about judgmental attitudes. There is a cultural imperative in America to pass judgement on others and out do them with the latest stuff. We are very external object oriented which, because of the impermanent nature of the material, creates suffering.
These attitudes are also a reflection of the internal judgments we pass on ourself. Without those internal thought mechanisms there would be no external representation of them. How often do you find yourself feeling a reaction in response to a habitual behavior of yours? How about a physical feature? We are only partly in control of our physicality. We have to accept the inevitable when it comes to the material. It is, by its’ nature, deteriorating every day. That can be a daunting thought if you let it consume you. Or you can accept the way things are and live your life better because of it.
Yoga gives us the space between our habits and our reactions to become aware of those that cause us suffering. It also gives us the tools to change that behavior if it is needed.
Additionally, what happens in our minds happens to our bodies. The strong opinions we hold end up as expressed tension in the bodies when we encounter situations that contradict our views. As you practice asana, overtime you’ll become aware of repetitive movement effects on the body, where your awareness is less likely to go in the body, and where your emotions reside. Asana is one of Patanjali’s 8 limbs of yoga not only to mitigate its’ influence in meditation, but as yet another tool of observation and learning about how the mind works. The mind effects the body and work done to the body can effect the mind. That’s why people run, got to gyms, swim, bike, play sports. Think about the mind when these activities are indulged in. It is quiet and focused.
Now that the nice weather is here more regularly, make a point to move. Shake off what may be clinging from the slower, more stagnant winter mentality and move into clarity and focus. As a starting point, forgive yourself the things you hate. Let everything be ok.
Increase your mental flexibility and watch it translate into the physical.