Our minds are constantly weaving stories and narratives that shape our perception of ourselves and the world around us. These inner narratives, often deeply ingrained in our childhood, can significantly impact how we perceive ourselves; affecting self-confidence, hindering personal growth, and preventing us from reaching our full glowing potential. Through the regular practice of yoga or during a 200-hour yoga teacher training where these beliefs can come up, we can learn to recognize and reframe these deeply rooted narratives, creating a positive shift in our lives. But how do you empower yourself and break free from limiting beliefs?
Digging deep into the roots of your narratives and fully acknowledging where they come from is the first step to change. Cultivating awareness means understanding that these narratives are there and they do impact how we think or act, and that’s okay because everyone is different! Yoga is much more than just a physical exercise; it is a holistic practice that integrates the body, mind, and spirit. By engaging in mindful movement and breathwork (pranayama) during your yoga teacher training, we learn to tune in and cultivate self-awareness. This heightened awareness allows us to recognize the thoughts and narratives that arise within us, and identify those that may be holding us back. With time, we can observe our inner dialogue without judgment and begin the process of reframing our thoughts and beliefs.
Time for Change
You may think changing your own narrative is a difficult process because you’re challenging your limiting beliefs and some of them would have been with you for a long time. But once you have awareness of them you can then decide to reframe them. When we have repetitive thoughts or beliefs it creates a neural pathway in the brain and the more we have the same thought, the deeper the neural pathway becomes. When we decide to change our beliefs, we are creating a new neural pathway for the brain to follow so while it may seem difficult at the beginning the more you replace an old thought with a new one the easier it will be. It is retraining the brain. Luckily yoga encourages us to step out of our comfort zones and explore new possibilities and can help with this.
As we move through different poses, we often encounter physical and mental resistance. These moments of discomfort mirror the challenges we face in our daily lives, including the narratives that limit us. By consciously pushing through physical limitations on the mat, we develop resilience and gain the confidence to challenge our inner narratives. Yoga teacher training especially teaches us that we are capable of much more than we believe!
Practicing self-compassion and integrating positive affirmations into your daily routine is a great way to start to undo the old patterns. Self-compassion plays a crucial role in reframing our inner narratives. A residential yoga teacher training, you learn to cultivate a compassionate and non-judgmental attitude toward yourself and the people around you. You will meet people from all over the world, be introduced to new concepts and ideas and it is usually other people who show us what our limiting beliefs are. But this is where you have the opportunity to change what is no longer serving you.
The practice of yoga too teaches us to appreciate our bodies and minds for what they are capable of doing in the present moment, rather than fixating on accomplishing a big goal, we choose to take the little steps first. By practicing self-compassion on the mat, we can extend it to our inner narratives, offering ourselves kindness and understanding as we work towards positive change. One way we can practice self-compassion is through positive affirmations. By consciously choosing positive statements and repeating them regularly, we can reshape our thought patterns and beliefs. Incorporating affirmations into our mornings or yoga practice further enhances their effectiveness. As we hold more challenging poses, we can silently repeat affirmations such as “I am strong”; “I am good enough”; or “I embrace growth.” By aligning our physical practice with affirmations, we reinforce positive narratives and anchor them deeply within ourselves.
Embrace the New You!
Switching up your narratives can be a difficult and lengthy process but it will be worth it. Yoga can be a journey that allows us to release old patterns and embrace new narratives, as long as we’re devoted to it. It’s a choice. As we continue to practice yoga, we become more attuned to the stories we tell ourselves and can actively choose to reframe them. It may take time and patience, but with persistence, we can replace self-doubt with self-belief, fear with courage, and limitation with boundless potential. Yoga teacher training provides us with a supportive and nurturing space to explore these transformations and grow into the best version we can be.
Let yoga be your guiding light as you navigate the depths of your inner world, empowering yourself to break free from narratives that hold you back and unlock your true potential. If you need an extra guiding hand, a yoga teacher training or yoga retreat offers a perfect environment. The well-planned schedule and principles that align with it will help you create this positive habit that you will keep with you for years to come. Embrace the journey and watch as your life unfolds in beautiful and unexpected ways.