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3 Ways to Harness Your Power & Show Up on the Mat

Baron Baptiste calls every moment a fresh chance to tackle resistance in mind, body and spirit. Here, three simple tips to revolutionize your attitude in your practice.

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Want to unlock an unexpected world of possibility in your practice—and your life? Then Yoga Journal’s upcoming course The Power of Play Bootcamp is for you. Baron Baptiste—veteran yoga teacher and founder of the Baptiste Institute and Baptiste Foundation—will lead you through four weeks of meditation, asana, and self-inquiry specifically designed to spark awakening and growth. Start the new year with a powerful perspective—and discover how to put it into action.

There are only two ways we show up on our mat and in life: as a yes or as a no. It’s hard to argue against being a yes. Yes carries the energy of possibility. No carries the energy of resistance. No impedes us or flat out stops us in our tracks. Human beings in general resist so that we don’t have to deal with failure. Rather than risk looking bad, we sacrifice what’s in our heart. No takes the form of excuses, complaints, procrastination, frustration.

But what if you took a look at your resistance, especially if it keeps coming up? I mean really took a look. My new course The Power of Play Bootcamp invites you to dive deep into the areas of your life where you experience resistance, then accept where you are and choose to let your resistance go, with the intention of being open to something bigger in your practice and in your life. If you are willing to do the work, your no might transform to a yes.

You are always in the dance of yes and no. Being a yes for one thing automatically makes you a no for something else. In fact, if you cannot point to what you are saying no to, then your yes means nothing. If you are a yes for peace, you are a no for war. If you are a yes for creating vibrancy and health in your body, you are a no for junk food and doing drugs. If you are a yes for full acceptance in your relationship, you are a no for criticizing and trying to change the person you love. If you are a yes for growth, you are a no for procrastination and stagnation.

Yes expresses your willingness to claim your power and use it to discover the real meaning of commitment. Yes invites you to expand and come into your full creative expression. Yes affirms your willingness to be teachable when you don’t have the know-how to get where you want to go.

Start the work of overcoming what you resist with these three themes from Baptiste Yoga:

1. Believe, and know, you are ready now.

This is it. Not tomorrow, not next week, not someday. Right here, right now. Come from I am ready now to awaken.

2. Give up what you must.

Give up the stories you’ve made up about what’s “true” about your potential. Give up the thought that whatever is happening right now in your body or your life should not be. Give up the judgment, the fear, the anxiety. Whatever you meet unexpectedly is never an interruption of your flow, but rather a part of it. If it distracts and grabs you, simply give it up and begin again, with your yes energy propelling you forward.

3. Be a yes.

Put your attention on what you want to have happen and be for it, fully and absolutely. Resistance often shows up as I don’t feel like doing this right now. So what does it take to be a yes in the space of no? It takes rising above your usual default. Every time you get lulled into your default resistance, remind yourself to be a yes for beginning again. Be a yes for holding nothing back, for answering the higher call at each step, for giving up resistance, for being up for something bigger in your practice and in your life.

Eager to get going? Enroll in The Power of Play Bootcamp