by Elise Bowerman
We are what we are attracted to. Like attracts like.
What does that mean?
In the practice of yoga we tend at go to the classes that fulfill our favorite parts of ourselves. Those who keep their days busy with things to do typically enjoy a flowing practice. Those who enjoy a day of only a few 'to-do's' will be drawn to a meditative or slower practice.
For instance, some people LOVE the Vinyasa style classes (one movement, one breath) because of the continuous flow. Those who LOVE this style might actually benefit most from incorporating a more Hatha based practice (holding the poses for about 3-5 breaths) into their routine.
On the other hand, those who LOVE to be in the asana (posture) for multiple breaths, feeling the stability while building heat in the body that way. Those who LOVE Hatha, Yin, or Restorative practices, would benefit most from incorporating a Vinyasa style class into their practice.
Why is this important?
The concept of like attracts like helps us to better understand ourselves, so that we may bring balance or healing into our lives. For those who LOVE continuous movement or distraction, are actually not challenging their mind or body to gain greater balance into their being. They may be uncomfortable with the idea of being still, because it can bring up feelings that have not been dealt with, or do not know why those feelings exist; or they may not have the muscle strength to maintain a posture for longer than a couple of breaths. When someone who is constantly going does not take the time to rest, meditate or move slower, they will burn out. To prevent burn-out, we are continuously working to create balance into our lives. Being mindful of your activies and mental patterns is the first step to begin bringing harmony into your life.
Now, those on the other spectrum who LOVE to be still and rest need the opposite of that attraction to bring balance into their lives. They need movement! They need fire! These people want love and to share love. While no one would ever say there's something wrong with that --- how do you start to cultivate and share? Moving, talking, feeling, and challenging yourself. Since physical practice is what this topic is on, we'll stick with that. Lighting a fire in the body with a flowing practice will help this type of person to bring balance into their lives.
Those who love to move will move until they get a hard hit stopping them in their tracks. Those who love to be still will literally watch their lives pass by.
Which one sounds like you right now? What would benefit you most to gain peace in your life? Ask yourself this everyday, as our lives are in a constant flux. Change your practice to meet peace.