As some of you might already know, I’m currently doing my Yoga Teacher Training with Britta Kimpel. In the last module I have experienced a very interesting transformation inside myself, which I want to share here – of course! It’s the hands-on experience to my post Self-fulfilling Prophecies and I guess the universe gave me a chance to test the knowledge, which I am sharing on this blog, myself… 😀
It all happened in one of the Asana classes during my teacher training. Usually the modules exist of three consecutive days with some overall topic. We were guided through an extremely powerful, long and heating class. The music, the energy in the room and the postures we practiced were all intended to harness our power in our core in order to get into more challenging poses at the end of the class. The sweat was dripping from my whole body but I enjoyed it a lot! By the end of class, we were shown our two peak poses: “Bird of Paradise” (or Svarga Dvijasana) and “Firefly” (or Titthibasana). At first I felt a bit intrigued by the arm balance of “Firefly” because I had never mastered one in my practice before and I was always a bit scared to even try, since I have a very sensitive right wrist. Due to the build up energy inside of me, I somehow overcame that fear and thought: “at least you can try!”. And guess what? With the help of my teacher and some adjustments I really turned into a firefly ( well, it was a short transformation of only 2 seconds – but hey! 😀 )! In the evening, I reflected on the day and was really proud of my achievement and that, all in all, I managed to get through such a challenging class.
On the next day, I was a bit tired but not even sore, we started the Asana class in the morning and the first tune of the first song already made me frown. “The same song? Well, ok…”. But then after a few minutes I realised that the sequence we were practicing turned out to be EXACTLY the same as the day before! (It had didactic reasons by the way!) And that’s were the real hard work started for me…
No, I don’t mean physically. Inside of me a very harsh battle started to take place. A voice inside of me compared the situation from the present to the one of yesterday and came to the conclusion that “we” would need an emergency plan to somehow survive this challenging class again.
“Ok, you really have to be mindful with yourself. Yesterday was so exhausting and today you are tired. And then in the end, there will these crazy poses you will have to do.”
“A shit! These poses! It’s an arm balance, you cannot do that with your wrist, it might hurt. No, you will not be able to make it this time. It’s too much and there is still the third day of the teacher training and you want to be fit for that, too, don’t you?”
But then a second, milder, voice took up the discussion:
“Woah, calm down. It’s all good, just breathe right now. You don’t even know what will happen, you don’t need to make any emergency plans – it’s really all fine! Trust me!”
“Yes, but it will be again so exhausting. And then this arm balance!”
“But you didn’t even have any sore muscles today morning, you are fine! And you managed to do the “Firefly” once which means it’s possible again, don’t worry. Make a break if you need to. Just relax and trust me!”
So, on and on it went with these two inside me – my inner sabotaging beast and my intuition. And it was even more exhausting then the Asana class! I knew I could stop at any time or simply go out of the room. But something inside me told me that this is a very important struggle and that I have to fully experience it in order to finally break out of a pattern, I always have carried in me: worrying ahead, making emergency plans and sabotaging my curious and bold side.
At some point, it all went quiet because I simply surrendered to the situation and my a big realisation already hovered in the back of my head: “How many times, did I use “I cannot” as an excuse?”…
It made me furious and gave me such a burst of energy that I powered through the class (and another 5 second of “Firefly”!). After Savasana I felt completely drained – emotionally and mentally. I stayed in the room and felt the need to meditate upon what I have gone through. While sitting and reflecting on my inner conflict, a thunder storm broke out outside – mirroring my inner feelings.
I finally realised the impact of my negative self-talk. I had told myself that it will be exhausting (because it has been the day before) but I hadn’t stayed in the present moment to feel that my body was actually fine! I told myself the old story of “my wrist being damaged” so that I would not do the arm balancing pose. But I completely ignored the FACT that I had already managed to do it! The realisation drew upon me on how many times in my life I have been telling myself that I cannot do something? How many times I had acted just because of past experiences ignoring my intuition and tuning into my body and soul to maybe change the outcome?
All of that was shocking and relieving at once: The impact of the mind in an excellent display of skill!
When you read this, I literally see you all rolling your eyes and thinking: “Well, it was all obvious and no big deal at all! Why even make a topic out of it?” – Because it’s due to the painful and exhausting experience, I have gone through, that I could finally understand and more importantly feel this influence of the mind on our performance. We ALL know the impact of our thoughts on our mood and how we perceive the world. But when do we really start to see these inner conflicts as gifts and take these as chances to break our inner cages?
Today, I feel very thankful and blessed for getting this chance to make the experience and break my personal wheel of sabotage. Sometimes the shadow work in our mind will really feel like taming a beast – just to make ourself see how strong we truly are…