By developing the skill of witnessing in your asana practice, you see your habits in your body, thoughts and feelings. Witnessing means:
- observe them,
- watch them rise, and pass away, and
- notice their impermanence.
Your practice may also lead to insight, by the questions you ask yourself and the action plans you implement.
Having a regular practice over a long time, allows you to look at how you handle different feelings, limitations, stress, & frustration. This gives you the freedom to observe and process them,or let them go, and make different choices.
In the book “Bringing Yoga to Life” by Donna Farhi, she talks about relating our yoga practice to our whole lives:
- How our yoga practice on our mats is an opportunity to break through negative patterns. Yoga is a way to awaken the body, mind and heart to other possibilities.
- Becoming present to ourselves, and rediscovering who we are
- Opening the heart to feel and relate to others
- Making the quest for happiness conscious. Discovering that a meaningful and fulfilling life is the result of skilful means and self-determination.
- How yoga offers us a pragmatic and realistic practice that helps us meet the most difficult situations in life.
- The obstacles to practice, including sloth, measuring up, opening our own personal ‘box of monsters’, the riptide of strong emotions, and finding our blind spots
- The four ‘BrahmaViharas’, (suggested attitudes to develop, to deal with life’s challenges):
- friendliness toward the joyful
- compassion for those who are suffering
- celebrating the good in others
- remaining impartial to the faults and imperfections of others