My high school was one that gave out superlatives. There was Most Likely to Succeed, Best Athlete and Biggest Comedian along with a slew of other absolute accomplishments. I won Most Changed Since 10th Grade. It would be awesome if I could say I was awarded for transforming my sophomore naivete into pearls of senior wisdom…
But this was not the case.
I got Most Changed because I dyed my hair regularly — from fuchsia to platinum blonde — I had a new look each month. (This was when blue hair was only seen on old ladies and punk rockers.) So because my transformation was gauged by my appearance, I was the Most Changed.
Big, dramatic change– the kind with instantaneous results– can be the first step towards a shift of personal transformation, but usually this deeper, more profound change occurs with practice.
True transformation comes from a commitment to being better than before.
I wrote the following piece as a simple ( + slightly entertaining) guide post to help recognize the early signs of transformation.
7 Signs Your Practice Is Leading You to a Yoga Transformation
Sometimes, I wonder if I’m getting the benefits of my yoga practice.
When I signed up for the monthly unlimited pass at the studio, I committed to showing up several times a week. I thought that by doing yoga regularly, inevitably it would seep into all areas of my life—transforming me into a calm, cool, and collected yogi.
Some days, it happens—I bask in the post-practice glow for hours. Other days, however, my stress level shoots through the roof right after Savasana, because I can’t get my bag unzipped to put away my mat.
Yoga is an inside job.
Progress on the mat can’t always be measured. While kicking into Forearm Stand after days of barely lifting a leg can definitely be a breakthrough, most of the benefits from yoga start on the inside, therefore they can’t be seen.
Read the full article on DoYouYoga.
How do you recognize the signs of transformation?
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
I learned a long time ago that I can achieve very small (sometimes infinitesimal) goals of transformation some of the time……although I aim for most of the time. My original youthful (in my 40’s) wish list would have had: Complete Transformation. I accept that goal as impossible for me. Here is one of a thousand “tweaks” I try: **When I am losing it in back of slow driver – I take a deep breath and think – what might be happening in this person’s life today that is causing his/her slow deliberate driving? It takes the focus off of me and my “short temper thermometer” lowers. We are all works in progress.
** As I said I can only do this sometimes and I don’t feel like a failure if I stay angry. I know that I will get another chance another day.
GGW, there’s a lot of good stuff in your comment. I think the part about putting the focus on someone else is such a great reminder. Also, that we always get a second chance…that’s pretty good to remember as well. Thank You!
Love all of this, Elysha! Your story of high school transformation (how cool that you dyed your hair repeatedly!) and your diploma; the wisdom of this post and the 7 points you elaborate on wisely and humorously in your article (and your humor/light touch are, to me, just more evidence of your wisdom). I need to ponder further your question about how I recognize transformation. I will say, though, that I was just telling my husband yesterday two shifts I’ve noticed in some of my decades old behavior, after practicing and practicing for what feels like forever. Shifts that reflect a little more patience and mindfulness. I think what caught my attention was noticing differences in my body. It was so surprising and, frankly, thrilling. Thanks so much for your inspiration. Really. xoxo
ST, I can relate to that feeling of practicing and practicing for what feels like forever… it’s amazing when the shifts are noticeable — like yours with your body. Then you know that the practice is actually making a difference. And it inspires more practice. Love your comments and when you share them here. Thank YOU! xx
Really enjoyed the writing, Elysha. You had me at the opening. Writing it down can make quite a difference. I love how you say yoga is an inside job. This goes for anything big and meaningful that we hope produces change. The heart is a bloody battleground, I have said – where we actually fight fear, will, ego..depending on what day it is.
Thx for the inspiration.
D, “the heart is a bloody battleground”…indeed it is a bloody affair, literally!! Then there’s that mind which likes to get involved and play tricks, using fear, ego and will for weapons. Thanks so much for stopping by, and sharing your insights…from the inside.
Yoga is definitely an inside job…and yes, some days the whole “patient practice” thing is elusive. As a teacher, I can begin to feel a little “fake” when I teach lessons that I am still working on. But then I remember that we are all walking this path and we are human, subject to human imperfection. Instead, I try to absorb the lesson as much as I can and keep walking forward 🙂 Thanks for the reminder.
Susie, is there ever really mastery on these lessons? Sure, a teacher can drop into a super advanced posture, but there’s always more to learn. Honestly, I think an optimal time to teach a lesson is when in the process of learning it — that’s when the humanity / authenticity is connected to the lesson. Thanks for sharing your insight here…I appreciate it!!