Why are we so afraid of change? From the tiny changes, such as trying soymilk instead of almond milk, to the huge life changes, like moving or changing jobs, as humans, we are terrified of the change. As I was sitting in the salon for a hair cut this weekend, there was a little voice that was trying to plant some doubt. But I already knew that the cut would be great, as that is all that my stylist knows how to do, yet part of me wondered if the current state of my hair was better then the unknown product of this hair cut could be. I was completely unsatisfied with my current hair, and yet part of me was still dubious of what positives the change could bring. There is something about the uncertainty that makes even the most stable of us a bit uneasy. And yet change is inevitable. So how do we brave life’s changes with the least amount of stress?

Our physical yoga practice provides us with the tools we need to face change. Your body is a perfect example of change as it is constantly changing and progressing. Your current flexibility depends on your stress level, how you slept, or even what you ate in the previous 24-hour period. You may find that a pose is incredibly challenging to you and then 24 hours later, it is a breeze. You may also find that as you settle into a posture it is uncomfortable or seemingly unbearable. But if you are able to use your breath to help soften and relax into the pose – you may find that it completely changes for you. In our life, we are so resistant to change, that we may back out of something before we begin to realize the silver lining. Many things just need a little time to simmer before their purpose in our lives are fully realized. If we can use the breath to help relax and embrace the change in our life that is inescapable, it will make the transition period much smoother. When you can alleviate the stress, the change will come on more smoothly, and your thought will be more open to the possibilities that it may provide.  

If there is one thing I have learned in life, it is that you can’t control what happens to you. You only have control over how you react. Every decision you are faced with throughout the day can either be dealt with accordingly, or you can freak out and complain how this terrible thing is happening to you. Our yoga teaches us to breath and reflect before we react to something. For example, when you first settle into a pose, there is always the possibility that it doesn’t feel amazing as usual. At this realization, you can pop right out of the stretch, deciding that having no sensation at all is better than something different. Or, you can stay in the pose, and see what unfolds. Sometimes what we may find that the new reality is better than we could have ever imagined. By softening and relaxing into the change, both on the yoga mat and in life, we allow our thought to be open to the positives of a change. That silver lining that is always there, whether or not you are paying attention to it.  

The old cliché is true – when one door closes, another one (or two or three) open and provide us with opportunities we never considered. So embrace today’s changes. Who knows, something enchanted may come out of it.