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Repetitive Patterns

As we see the leaves change to yellows and browns then fall, as the air starts to cool and the clocks change we feel the familiar cycle of the seasons shifting. The changing rhythm and pattern of Autumn. This Autumn however, we are also experiencing a new pattern, that of a return to further restrictions on our lives, something that was totally new to us in Spring now has a sense of uncomfortable familiarity, a feeling perhaps of ‘oh no not this again’.


This brings to mind the yogic philosophy of Samskaras, mental and emotional patterns, through which we cycle over and over. Repeating samskaras reinforces them, creating deeper grooves that are harder to get out of. We are creatures of habit, our minds get stuck into these patterns, we repeat the same thought and repeat the same responses time and time again. Adding to this, our minds are hard wired for survival and so have a tendency to focus on the negative, repeating unhelpful mind loops.


In our yoga practice we can reinforce these patterns, repeating the same movements in the same way because that is how we have been taught to ‘perform’ a pose without actually exploring what it might feel like in my body that day. We then can become rigid, possibly wearing down parts of the body through this repetition.


Can we bring understanding to our tricky mind and observe these patterns we get stuck in? What would it be like if I interrupted the unhelpful patterns of thought? What if I moved from thinking to sensing in my body?


One of the ways to explore this is to move from a linear cat and cow extension and flexion along the spine to a free flow movement. Allowing your body to move fluidly, in any way that feels good, to get into those corners of the body that need opening and releasing.


By breaking away from our habitual movement patterns we can learn to interrupt our unhelpful thinking patterns.


Tips

  • Finding fluid movements on the mat, allowing your body to lead the movement not the mind

  • Finding fluid movement off the mat, when cleaning, when in the shower

  • Experiment doing a task with your non dominant hand







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