While I was leading yoga teacher training last week, I was browsing through my notes and came across one of my favorite metaphors presented by one of my teachers, Dinabandhu Sarley.
The basic idea is that most people live their lives at the brightness of a 40 watt lightbulb — don't worry it's LED and very eco-friendly — but those who are living yoga are able to amp up from 40 to 4000 watts. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
Dimming Your Light
Our potential is endless but so many people make daily choices that end up dimming their lights. Constant worry, endless greed for the next best thing, a lack of seeing the positive, thoughts of unworthiness, sugar, overconsumption of alcohol, self-induced drama, lack of movement, drugs, lack of sunshine and fresh air, too much media, and the list goes on and on.
In reality, all of these life-detracting habits have an effect on every part of our body, but specifically they impact our nervous system (NS). The NS is made up of your brain, spinal cord, and nerve endings, and functions as a vast web of communication.
Depending on how we live our lives, it either conducts messages and energy with efficiency or stagnation. All of the aforementioned life habits in excess tend to dampen the ability of the NS to do its job at optimal capacity.
Yoga and the Nervous System
Yoga — and I don't just mean on the mat — is an NS practice.
Physically we are working the spine in many directions including flexion/extension, lateral side bending, and twisting.
On the breath level we are creating more stimulation for all of our internal systems — through the deep massage the diaphragm creates — and the breath provides more internal vitality.
Mentally, the practice invites us to track our attention and better be able to engage with our focus to make more conscious choices, like grab for the sweet potato instead of the white sugar. All of these elements nourish the brain, spinal cord, and nerve endings which in-turn provides the whole system greater potentiality.
Best of all, we can practice these elements of body, breath, and mental awareness everywhere, in the way we think, talk, and in the smallest of daily decisions which compound to influence our day.
What wattage are you currently emanating? Where are you dampening your ability by clutching onto draining habitual patterns that you know do not serve you?
Is it time to commit to doing something different?
Change out the light bulb. Imagine what might happen on the journey from 40 watts to 4000 watts.