“Psychologists tell us that by the time we’re in our mid-30s, our identity or personality will be completely formed. This means that for those of us over 35, we have memorised a select set of behaviours, attitudes, beliefs, emotional reactions, habits, skills, associative memories, conditioned responses, and perceptions that are now subconsciously programmed within us. Those programs are running us, because the body has become the mind. This means that we will think the same thoughts, feel the same feelings, react in identical ways, behave in the same manner, believe the same dogmas, and perceive reality the same ways. About 95 percent of who we are by midlife is a series of subconscious programs that have become automatic—driving a car, brushing our teeth, overeating when we’re stressed, worrying about our future, judging our friends, complaining about our lives, blaming our parents, not believing in ourselves, and insisting on being chronically unhappy, just to name a few.” – Dr. Joe Dispenza
Habits are powerful. They predict how you should act in a certain context. We produce them as a way to adapt to our environment and to solve recurring problems that we encounter in life. A habit is an action that has been repeated so many times that it becomes an automatic response – the mind is no longer involved and it becomes unconscious. Even if the habit is no longer the best solution, you find yourself doing or thinking that thing anyway, despite yourself.
The reason they are powerful is that we form an identity around them. Your habits are a way you embody a particular self image… every action is a vote for the kind of person that you believe you are. The repeated action then builds up evidence for your beliefs to root themselves into.
To truly change is to think and act differently in the same circumstances in your life. You can use your yoga practice as a vehicle for making change.
The Bikram series is a great example – the same shapes every class, in the same order, in the same conditions. Repeating the same 26 postures can become automatic or it can become an amazing opportunity to see your patterns – how you behave and the things you think and say to yourself. The transformation happens when you can see your mechanisms and you behave differently. Fundamentally yoga is all about the mind and becoming more conscious in our lives.
A 30 day challenge is a powerful way to make a change, build new patterns and create a positive shift. Whatever is happening in your life is a manifestation of whatever is happening within you. So to create transformation in your life you must first become aware of whats going on on the inside, to then have the ability to change it.
Apart from the physical benefits, its a great opportunity for observing the internal dialogue and patterns of thinking and behaving. The benefits of 30 days of yoga you get anyway – lose weight, cleanse your body, build strength, improve your flexibility and take your practice to the next level. Its the observation of the thinking processes and habits that control your life is where you’ll find the gold. The strongest currency a human being has is to become aware of itself. You can’t change something you haven’t seen. Use the 30 day challenge as an opportunity to become more AWARE of yourself. Yoga is not a workout its a work-in!
The body is such a beautiful instrument. Its so loyal and a lifelong partner. The more we are connected to it the happier we are. The less connected the more miserable and separated we become. Look at the language you use when you speak to it. Become more conscious of how you are treating it, by what you are saying and what you are putting into it. How your body looks and feels is a good gauge of your relationship with it.
If you want to give yourself the best chance for success in changing your patterns and habits, you have to surround yourself with like minded people – a sense of belonging is really important which is why community is so huge. The support you feel from others when doing the challenge together is awesome and makes it so much easier to achieve.. the collective energy gives you a boost and people encourage and share with each other.
If you really want to go for it – this is your chance!
Knowledge is power.. self knowledge is empowering!