The natural ebbs and flows of a life well-lived don’t have to coincide with negativity. Make peace with transition and learn to navigate change like a yogi.
“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” Let the yogic teachings support you through change and transformations in life.
We all have a history. Our life is a tangled web of beautiful stories that have shaped our lives into a wonderful and unique reality. As human beings, we go through a number of kaleidoscopic moments that transform our immediate present and shape our approaching future.
When we refuse to let go of past experiences or accept change, we lose a valuable opportunity to embark upon a new path in our life journey that could be truly amazing.
As the quote I opened with expresses, change is something we cannot escape. But we can surely navigate it for the better.
When you begin to incorporate yogic practices into your life, you invite greater changes within: yoga practices enhance the personality, grant you with the power of self-realization, and help face the darkest realities. As you dedicatedly embark on the yogic path, these inner shifts manifest in your external life as considerations or questions about your habits and ways of living—allowing you to make slow, positive change from the inside, out.
Below are seven ways to navigate change like a yogi—consider adopting some (or all!) of these practices so you can more readily embrace transition in your own life.
1) Switch to a Yogic Diet
Extend yoga practices off the yoga mat and into your life for greater harmony and clarity in whatever you do. Firstly, consider transitioning to the yogic diet—whether partially or completely—to compliment your yoga practices and to lead a better life. A yogic diet is sattvic and vegetarian in nature, promoting the values of Ahimsa (non-violence). Even the smallest changes you adopt while making food choices can have significant, long-term implications on your life for the better.
Slowly, transform your yoga practice on the mat to a better way of living, overall. By living yogically, you start to embrace positive changes in life—like managing stress, taking a full night’s sleep, acting from a place of love, and appreciating life for being beautiful and peaceful. As you go through the change consciously, you build a deeper relationship with yourself and the world.
2) Sync the Body Cycle with the Sun’s
The practice of Surya Namaskar is the process of synchronizing the body cycle with the solar system. By connecting the cellular clocks with the Universe’s natural cycle, you can invite more balance and vitality in your life.
Wake up just before sunrise. Practicing Hatha yoga, bathing in cool water to charge the cellular body, drinking the right amount of water, and rubbing sweat into the skin are just some of the ways to sync the body cycle with the solar cycle. Also, by paying tribute to the eternal source of energy with the Sun Salutations series, you can maximize the benefits of the yoga practices. Practicing Sun Salutations gives us the strength to navigate through changes in a better way.
3) Adopt the Yogic Principles for Embracing Purity
The Yamas and Niyamas form the backbone of Patanjali’s Yoga Philosophy and are the guidelines to conscious living. The 5 Yamas—Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (continence), and Aparigraha (non-coveting)—are ethical principles that should be followed on all levels (actions, words, and thoughts). Whereas the 5 Niyamas—Saucha (purification), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (asceticism), Svadhyaya (self-study), and Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion)—are the positive duties that are recommended for a healthy and spiritual existence.
These teachings will turn you inward, guiding you through changes in life.
4) Pranayama for Mental and Physical Purification
Practicing pranayama, you’ll melt your troubles and create a space for mental and physical purification. With this purification, you’ll be guided toward new horizons.
Yogic breath work, particularly, can help soothe the internal discomforts that can accompany external changes. With each deep breath, let go of the past and reconnect with a safe and comfortable space within. Exhale and let go of what you are holding inside—letting go is the inner key to navigating positive changes.
5) Practice Mindfulness to Exist in the Present
The process of change brings along a great degree of uncertainty and can feel daunting at times. After all, change involves fear and surprise. You’re also likely to experience anger, fear, irritation, and several other physical and psychical transformations.
By adopting a practice like meditation, you bring mindfulness into your life, helping you exist (and remain) in the present moment. When you stay true and centered with yourself and the feelings you’re experiencing, you are able to move through the change process more naturally and effectively.
6) Embrace Each Transformation with Positivism
Meditation and pranayama will help you navigate a change more effectively by connecting you to your sense of stillness—a centered presence—and granting higher consciousness. As you experience this stillness and surrender to the present, you create space in your heart for embracing each transformation with positivity. The physical and psychological changes that meditation and pranayama bring help you respond more mindfully to any change you encounter.
7) Accept Change as a Process of Growth
The yogic practices provide you with both courage and strength while you navigate radical changes. The yogic science helps you realize the impact your internal workings have on your external behavior. Meditation and pranayama work internally, thus leading you toward the true self.
Allow the yoga techniques to guide you through the challenges, feelings, and phases of change you encounter. By trusting in this process, you won’t get lost—instead, you’ll continue to progress on a path of growth through acceptance without judgment.
Keeping these seven tips for navigating change in mind, you allow the science of yoga to guide you, as a true friend, through the changes and transitions of life in a better, more positive way.
About the Author
Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides Yoga Teacher Training in India. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas. To learn more about Bipin’s work, visit his website, rishikulyogshala.orgmh