What it takes to expand.

There is so much talk about ‘transformation’ and ‘manifestation’, both of which is taken to mean expansion. Most of the times, we also throw in the other favourite catchphrase – ‘abundance’ – into the mix as well.

In the same breath, we usually talk about yoga being all-accepting and all-embracing, of being ‘inclusive’ and tolerant of us, at whatever stage of life we are in, and whatever frame of mind we may be in.

This is all true… but there’s a BUT!

Let’s pause and ask what all this means. What does it mean to ‘manifest’? What does it mean to ‘transform’?

Let me be clear – ‘transforming’ / ‘manifesting’ / ‘expanding’ is not for the faint of heart. It’s not for those who embrace cancel culture, negating aspects and capacities of events and of others because it doesn’t suit them.

Expanding ourselves means we have to reflect on what triggers us, explore what holds us back, what is it about ourselves that is stopping us from moving forward.

It is gritty, dirty work that requires us to look at ourselves under a microscope. So for those of you who believe yoga is all sunshine, flowers, meadows and beaches, perhaps don’t read this blog post.

But for those of you who really want to expand / manifest / transform, have no fear, we have our grounding tools from yoga to help us along the way (see below).

Learn 3 basic principles of yoga that will help you towards your midlife awakening!

Continue reading if you’re ready to expand!

Reflect!

As we sit in silent practice, as we move through yoga asana on the mat, as we conduct our daily activities, WATCH! Be aware of what triggers you and see if there is a pattern (sometimes there isn’t).

If something or someone upsets you, ground yourself, then reflect – “what does it say about me that I get angry when someone says something like this to me?” Forget about the other person and the possible string of wrongs he or she has done you – we are working on YOUR expansion, not theirs!

Reflecting on what upsets us, triggers us, angers us, we will usually discern that there is a pattern. Perhaps we over-perform because we never got our parents approval. Perhaps we never take action because we are afraid of failure. There are endless scenarios here, so I won’t get carried away.

Remain always GROUNDED (see previous blog posts listed above), journal if possible, and keep with the practice.

Nobody said expansion would be easy…

Many of us prefer practices that will not cause discomfort, yet at the same time we want to be healed”

Pema Chödrön

Have courage.

Expanding ourselves requires courage. As we reflect on what floats up to us – whether in meditation or just as a revelation to us during the day – perhaps we are more selfish than we thought, perhaps we are more cowardly than we acknowledged…

There are many things our subconscious hides from us, and sometimes we need gumption to face the fact that we may have all the worst traits we never thought we had.

We all struggle. We all have good days and bad days. The point is to find a balance, and have peace with that balance.

Always practise the grounding tools (in the blog posts above) and check in with your breath. If ever it really gets too much to handle, don’t dwell on it. Keep it aside and come back to it when you are in a better frame of mind.

Also, practise yoga heart-openers to invite that capacity to expand and to have the courage to expand in your practise.

Have no expectations.

Your expansion may not be something you expect. Maybe you’re hoping for a better job, but you may find that your expansion is finding peace in the job you’re already in! Does not having a better job (something that has many variables beyond your control) but having peace in your current job (something almost entirely in your control) mean that your ‘goal’ to expand failed?

Another expectation many practitioners (including me) have is that everything goes well forevermore once they feel their life is expanding or transforming. That will not be the case.

Things come together, and they will fall apart at some point. That’s life – when things come together, they will fall apart. Then they will come together again, and then they will fall apart again.

Expansion takes place when we have peace with that.

When we make peace with our struggles, we make peace with ourselves. We can then move forward and hopefully things will come together (again).

Opening breaths / Expansive breaths.

The following video is a movement and breath practice that may help you in your journey towards expansion. Practice this before yoga movement or before your meditation practice so your heart space is more open for the expansion before you.

Remember that the way to expansion is a warrior’s path. Have no expectations, have courage and prepare yourself for a greater you.

Let me know how this helps you in your practice here.

Expand your mornings with the Mindful Mornings mini-course below!

Included in the course:

  • Yoga movement
  • Morning meditation
  • Mindful activities for the mornings