Realizations of a Type A Yogini

06/08/2011 22:14

 Yes, I could have called it Confessions of a Type A Yogini, but this seemed more appropriate for what has dawned on me recently.


And here it is: Yoga is NOT going to change the fact that I'm a Type A personality. Nor will it change the fact that I tend to be in a hurry a lot of the time. It's just not. I am me, this is my personality and really, I don't want to change it! (Another reality yoga has opened to me!) I do, however, want to be able to understand myself and respond appropriately to things in my life.


In the Eastern traditions, there is less emphasis on 'fixing' what's 'wrong' with you and more emphasis on learning to find, develop and use your own unique strengths. We all have them, yet, I think, we focus so much on our 'weaknesses' that we can't (or don't have time to) develop our strengths. We see our strengths as secondary, too easy, not enough. We in the West all do it to an extent (and I suspect it's spreading). Our society is based on being driven, being the best at as many things as possible and not having any weaknesses! No wonder we're stressed out! Ugh!


My advice? Ditch it. What yoga has gotten through my thick head is that I have strengths and I can use them. I can focus on them and develop them. Those weaknesses just aren't as daunting. A bit of acceptance can do wonders. I'm human, I have strengths, I have weaknesses. Move on!


Yoga has provided me with some incredible tools to come to this calm down. Besides gaining strength, balance and flexibility with the physical yoga postures, I've got my breathing practice. (Yes, sometimes I need help just breathing.) Saying that we underestimate the importance of deep breathing is an understatement as most of us take our breathing for granted, we just expect it to be there. We tend to under use our breath too, using about a third of our breathing capacity during a normal day and if we're stressed, it can be even less! We hold our stress in our shoulders and breathe very little.


Try this exercise:

When you take a deep breath in, remember how much you have – in your breath and in your life. Slow down for a moment and on days when a moment seems to be all you have, it can keep you sane. Feel yourself relax just a bit. Recall your strengths and yourself. When you breathe out deeply, let it all go. Connect in that moment with a feeling that you're okay, it will all get done, it will all be right.


So, will I cure my Type-A'edness? No, I hope not. Maybe its one of my strength that I should develop (in a healthy way, of course!) and just keep right on going. I am always sure that my yoga practice will help me realize and understand more of my strengths and help me accept and love my weaknesses too.