Saying no…to self-limiting beliefs

 In *from my heart

Your mind is a beautiful cage.

Glorious, glittering, shiny, and infinitely complex…but a cage nonetheless.

From the time we’re children, we create an understanding of the world and live by the subsequent rules that we create. And for the most part, these beliefs go unchallenged.

  • “I can’t sing.”
  • “I’m not good at math.”
  • “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”
  • “I can’t do handstand.”

We cruise along in our lives, blithely acting in accordance with these governing beliefs.  And because our mind is so darn persuasive, we often agree to its rules without a second thought.

But your yoga practice is different.

In yoga, we are asked to dive beneath the mind’s advice and admonishments and connect to the intelligence of our bodies and our breath. We deliberately create space from the mind’s relentless and well-meaning chirping (“You’re going to fall!” “You can’t kick into handstand!” “You’re not strong enough!”) in order to pry open some cracks in our armour.

We create space for self-surprise.

There is a part of my practice where my mind jumps in. It’s when I’m practicing handstand. My mind starts its whispering, “You can’t.” While I can’t silence my mind, I can choose to lovingly question its certitude. I focus on my breath. I set my mind’s chatter aside. And then I practice. Some days I fall, and some days I defy my own expectations. By focusing on our breath and letting our body find its own intelligence, we can begin to open the doorway to new possibilities. After all, our mind can only advise based on what it’s already experienced or imagined; new vistas are unimaginable and beyond its scope. The only way to blow our own mind is to create opportunity to transcend our known experience.

In our yoga practice, we experience new possibilities in the form of physical poses (inversion, forward fold, arm balance). We may say, “I never know I could do that!” Ultimately, however, the pose itself doesn’t matter. The pose simply reveals the truth: we don’t need to believe everything that we think.

How might this insight change our world off the mat? When our mind’s cautionary tales are exposed as fiction, suddenly new vistas emerge. Beyond our imagination.

So, say No to self-limiting beliefs.

And say yes to wild possibility.

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Showing 5 comments
  • Nikki

    What a great post Rachel – thank you! Practicing yoga has definitely changed what I do off the mat. And when I start to feel fear about something big I’m going to do, after I practice yoga or meditation I feel totally different. Like I can do anything. It amazes me every time!

  • Sammy

    Thank you Rachel. For someone who struggles with Mental Health issues this explains exactly why I feel completely myself when doing yoga! Might do some right now 🙂 Thank you

  • Rachel

    Yes, yes! Yoga helps me manage my natural anxiety. So happy we have this wonderful tool. xoxo

  • Leslie

    This is powerful, Rachel, thanks for sharing!

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