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Samskaras: Unraveling The Conditioned Self

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that healing isn’t usually what we expect.

Theres often the mistake of thinking that healing has a start and an end. Although, the reality is that there is no backward or forward, no up and down. The mind tricks us into believing time is linear, but in actuality all there is expansion or retraction. For many people and for certain wounds (emotional, mental scars or physical ones), the process is lifelong. Some things we’ll heal from quickly and easily... other things will take time, and all we’ll see is progress not completion.

According to yogic philosophy, we’re born with a karmic inheritance of mental and emotional patterns—known as samskaras—through which we cycle over and over again during our lives. Our mind is a warehouse of positive and negative samskaras, like: selfless acts of love and activism for a particular cause close to the heart versus self-lacerating mental patterns that underlie low self-esteem. They are mental impressions, recollections or psychological imprints, taken together to make up our conditioning. The negative samskaras are what hinder our positve evoution.

When we repeat the same samskaras we reinforce them, creating a stronger impression. This is how a habit is formed. For example, getting into the same self-destructive relationships over and over again.

When our habit patterns become

so ingrained that they alter our body chemistry,

it’s called ‘addiction’.

When they become strong enough

to alter our thinking process,

it is called ‘samskara’.

When our mental world is totally under the influence of these powerful impressions they become the determining factors of our personality, and due to these samskaras we perceive the world through the lens of fear, fantasy and distortion.

As we move throughout our lifes journey we will experience different waves of healing these samskaras by way of shifting our patterns. When we're patient enough to facilate samskara's organic process and honour its rhythm, change flows. Through this labour of self-love we experience what depth is. Rather than seeing your samskara’s as a hinderance, the perspective begins to shift from retraction to expansion. Not only do you hold the parts of you that once were, you also embody the newness of you. You can see the views you used to see from the first floor, and now you also see the deep horizon from the 12th floor vantage point.

It’s like when you get injured. You don’t know how good your body and health feels until you go through the pain of not being your best. We’ll spend time reflecting and adjusting our lifestyle to now fit the needs of this injury as we adapt. We ultimately expand into a new version of ourself by way of healing.

The way of depth is infinite, and yoga is a doorway into practices that provide infinite inquires and experiences to heal and deal with this one precious body we have been given. Yoga invites us to skillfully participate and engage with all the flavours of our healing process, for the sake of shifting from a place of fear to joyfully expanding into the truth of who you are.

You don’t have to practice downward-facing dog to live the principles of Yoga. When you can make choices skillfully, acting in ways that make you feel more alive, and in turn the world more alive, you stand in your truth. And the truth there is, that growth is expansion. It’s your heart opening to deeper and deeper capacities of loving all parts of yourself.

Healing is not linear, the process is your body's intelligence working out it’s samskaras.

Where in your life do you find yourself repeating self-sabatoging patterns that hinder your evolution... that hold you back from expanding into greater capactities of self-love and love for others?

Where in your life are you willing to change, for the sake being more committed to the process of healing rather than continuing to sit in your comfort?

Like alchemists in our own transformation, we have the power to constantly refine and direct our samskara into healthier designs.


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