by Claire Berghorst

Patterns in the body, patterns in the mind… Each time we step onto the mat and allow the practice to unfold we start to create little neurological pathways that shape the way we move. These pathways influence the next practice, and the next and so forth, allowing movements to become familiar, to become patterns, and hence the breath to follow, smooth and steady.

As the breath steadies, the practice allows us to delve a little deeper into our own make-up discovering little habits, or perhaps just rediscovering what you already knew? Occasionally we have big ‘ah ha’ moments but mostly it’s far more subtle, it’s about allowing the practice to just be, and observing what unfolds.

The more you observe and become aware of your body, your breath and your patterns you start to notice how the physical is a representation of the mental. Physical obstacles are manifestations of mental obstacles, and they mirror our own patterns back to us.

Being the observer is critical as it allows you to see these patterns, and start to note which ones are moving you in a safe direction for your body and mind, and which ones are no longer serving you. This is so hard. Separating what your head / ego is telling you, from what you intuitively know your body is saying.

When we stop listening, we follow the wrong path, often leading to injuries. Take the injury as a guide to make a change, to follow a different path, even if your ego says otherwise. Follow the next path, maybe it will lead to a big ‘ah ha’ moment, maybe it will teach you something that you have been waiting to learn.

Keep stepping onto your mat – and breathe, ekam inhale, dve exhale and so forth. Let the practice guide you, let the practice develop those pathways, and have the conviction to make changes when needed.

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