Learning the Language of Yoga | Embracing Change in the New Year with Sam Bederman

“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.” ~ BKS Iyengar

January is a traditional time of year where we make resolutions and dedications as to how we would like to change, advance, and better ourselves. Often, we commit ourselves to making healthier lifestyle choices, or choosing new mantras to live by like to practice more tolerance and less criticism.

This year, I decided to embrace change a little differently. Instead of making a resolution or creating an intention, I am playing with the idea of bringing one word forward with me into this new year. The concept of taking forward this one word describes where I have been challenged within the past 12 months and what I want to combat in 2016. The word I chose was “fear”.

Fear is paralyzing, destabilizing, limiting, and prevents change. So, why would I ever think of taking this with me into my fresh new start?

I began my yoga practice about 17 years ago. I started simply by adding yoga into my work out routine. The stretch was pivotal for my body and transformative for my digestive issues. I never feared one pose, one challenge, or the unknown. But as time passed, life challenges were greater and inevitably, as I evolved and changed, so did the amount of fear I attached to it all. It wasn’t until the final days of 2015 that I realized how much fear I was carrying around with me. It wasn’t only fear about my practice not excelling, but now that fear was manifesting itself into other areas of my life…limiting me from getting what I want.

So, if you will join me on this ride to release fear, in my yoga practice and in my practice of life, I will walk through the weeks of 2016 with you as we tackle, acknowledge, dissect, and release FEAR. We begin back at the basics, relearning and tasting the foundations of what the asanas have to teach us. There is no change with fear in the way. There is no growth without change. And there is no better way to be the best you can be without practice. Namaste.



MOVEMENT MONDAY: Tadasana, or Samasthiti Mountain Pose: both Sanskrit names mean, mountain, upright, straight, equal, level, balanced and sthiti means stand or stay. Your Drishti, or gaze is encouraged to draw the awareness inward and should be at the tip of your nose. Feet are together, with toes and heels touching, you can lift and stretch your toes to engage and lift the kneecaps up, contract the hips and pull up the muscles at the back of the thighs. The chest is broad, shoulders are back and in line with the hips and chin is parallel to the floor. Do not bare the weight of the body either on the heels or toes but evenly distributed between both.

Generally, we do not pay attention to the correct method of standing. If our body weight is thrown only into the heels, we feel gravity changing; the hips become loose, the abdomen protrudes, the spine feels strain and consequently we soon feel fatigued and our mind becomes dull…allowing prohibitive thoughts like FEAR to enter and leave its impression.


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