Last week I shared a post “Is Your Yoga Working For You?” That blog addressed the beginning of taking your Yoga off the mat and assimilating it into your behavior. The first step in changing your behavior is to pretend someone else (that you truly respect and honor) is watching you- this could be your child, your teacher, your pastor, your yoga student. The next step is to begin to see yourself a little more clearly. In yoga, this is called the witness. At first, this is difficult and requires you to step outside yourself and witness your behavior and how it may be perceived by others.
When your witness steps in, you sometimes have to “Act As If.” Sometimes following a path such as this seems like too much work. Sometimes we don’t feel like we can forgive. Sometimes we want to gossip. Sometimes we want to cry and stomp our feet and say, “It’s not fair!” This is where “Acting As If…” comes in. When you act as if, you hear the voice in your head that tells you to act on impulse and then you witness this and change your behavior. You act as if you are in control. What eventually happens is that this way of witnessing and acting as if becomes a way of life. It becomes ingrained in your neural pathways and helps you become less reactive (more yogic) without even trying. Then your Yoga becomes a part of you that is rooted deeply. The witness is still needed to help you stay on the path, or veer back a little faster each time you leave the path; but it is no longer in constant demand.
If you are struggling with a situation or reacting in a certain way, act as if you are a calm, kind, compassionate, forgiving being. Shine your light on the situation… act as if. Try a new course and see what happens. Let me know how it works!