Acknowledging faults to find freedoms.
Set your imagination free as you consider this:
The body and mind are formed at conception with basic programs in place, much like when you bring home a new laptop from the store. The computer has basic programs already installed to get you going.
These programs are your computer’s baseline.
A starting point. Meant to evolve and consistently be upgraded for bugs and glitches and evolution. To keep up with the times. To maintain good working order.
An example of this human programming can be explained using this simple example, which was highlighted during a particularly insightful Zuna Yoga lecture at my recent 300 hour advanced yoga teacher training:
Ladies, on which shoulder do you carry your bag?
For me, it’s always my left. To put my bag on my right shoulder to carry is just crazy. It feels WEIRD. And that, my friends, that feeling of discomfort, that’s a program you’ve run for years and years being challenged. A challenged program is a discomfort, and so the negative signals begin to flood in. This isn’t usual! Abort! Cancel! Esc! Bag to left shoulder ASAP!
We have strong attachments to our programming. We have strong attachments to our thinking minds and have trust built to believe what the thinking mind tells us about who we are and how we feel; I am sad, I am hurt, I am comfortable, I am important, I am jealous, I am hungry. We think, therefore we believe, right?
We are all born with basic software, baseline programming to get us going. As we live, grow, and learn, we either reprogram along the way or we sit with our old, outdated ways of living and thinking and endure. Some people, perhaps, realize they’re way behind the times and do a complete overhaul, all but throwing their old programs out to make room for new ones. This could look like a adult quitting their job, divorcing their spouse, and moving someplace new to start over and live more simply. This could look like a mid-life crisis, or like enlightenment.
Programming can be brilliant, when consciously maintained. It can lead to a live well lived, where you are in the control seat. Programming, when left unmaintained, can become unhealthy. Take, for example, being in a bad relationship. Imagine being with someone who doesn’t treat you well or give you the attention and affection you crave, or worse yet being with someone who abuses you in some way. Imagine staying with that person for years, feeling unloved, unfulfilled, or ever fearful.
And yet, we all know someone who stays in that bad relationship. No matter what the signs are, they stay.
One of the brilliant minds behind Zuna Yoga, Everett Newell, spoke on this saying,”
To take this one step further, it’s likely we all know someone who has been in said bad relationship, finally gotten out of it, and gone on to date someone just as bad. Programming! That type, that relationship, it’s what the person knows, and so ends up being what the person attracts/seeks. This can happen over and over, and even if the person does finally end up dating someone wonderful, they almost self sabotage the relationship because it feels uncomfortable, it feels foreign, it feels like something they don’t align with. Something they don’t deserve. The programs, their familiar baseline, their thinking mind even are all saying: This isn’t for you. This doesn’t feel normal. Abort! Cancel! Esc!
To me, this is insanely interesting, practical, and applicable. If we don’t update our programs and allow ourselves a soft reset now and then, we get comfortable in our old programming, our familiar, comfortable suffering, our complaining, our ignorance. We’re used to it, it requires little effort.
It also brings about very little change, and very little movement in any sort of positive direction.
If you’re programmed to fight with your partner or your mom or your best friend using low blows and loud voices and insults, and you never DECIDE to install fresh programs, new ways of approaching a situation, and then to USE your newly installed programming to receive more positive, more constructive, more compassionate results, well, keep on fighting, hurting, and getting nowhere.
If you’re wondering what any of this has to do with yoga, my answer is: actually, a lot.
Using the tools offered through a whole yoga practice, you can learn to reprogram yourself. You can reset. You can see who you are, see who you wish to be, and begin to build a healthy bridge between the two.
Yoga is not all head-standing and arm balancing. In fact, if that’s all you think yoga is, that’s all you’ll get out of your practice.
If you can open your mind, set your imagination free, and commit to getting to know yourself as you are, you can change your whole life through a yoga practice. You can begin to identity what programs you’re running, which need to be upgraded, and upgrade them. You can identify your common attitudes, your body type, your mental tendencies, and work from a healthy, supportive, individual place to find relaxation and your truest version of you.
Bonus: If you get to a place where you’re ready and able, not only can you access and modify your programming, you can shut the programs down completely and enter into a truly deep meditation space. While this may not be your goal, how cool to know it’s even possible? How cool to know that the same path that could lead you into deep meditation could also lead you to be a better, more aware, more capable, more conscious friend, partner, parent? A better, more aware, more capable, more conscious version of YOU?
If you’re wondering where to begin, the first step is completed — you’re interested!
The second step would be to find a teacher, a guide to help you along your journey. This individual approach to the science of yoga is what has made me love teaching privately, so please reach out if you’d like to schedule a Skype session with me.
Additionally, if you have some experience with yoga and are looking to get away and take an immersive leap into the yoga pool, consider attending an immersive training with Zuna Yoga. While many do attend these trainings intending to teach, plenty of people attend to deepen their own practice and for personal knowledge and growth. You can find more information on their website, linked throughout this blog, or email email@example.com for more information.