Whether you’re new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, all it takes is that first moment you step on the mat to realise that this is far more than just a physical practice. You only have to approach your practice with an impatient mindset to know that you’re never going to find balance in Tree Pose. Or witness the deep release you feel in pigeon when you come from a place of kindness.

Yoga literally means “union”, the unity of body, mind & soul.

It has a direct cause and effect relationship, meaning what you bring to the mat mentally will present itself physically, and what you bring in body can affect the mind. The key is in influencing one element with the other, working towards finding true connection and balance.

This year at Kula we have explored affirmations for our monthly themes as a way of motivating and guiding our community both on and off the mat. For October we are focusing our energy on ‘Determination Is My Power’, but encouraging you to look at the softer and more fluid element of this statement.

Determination can be a dangerous term if it is considered something rigid and absolute – “I am determined to do full chaturanga, even though I have a shoulder injury.” Approaching determination in your practice with a closed mind is being so committed to a plan that it obstructs your ability to be open to the present moment.

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ~ Martin Luther King

However, a healthy way to approach your practice with determination is by setting a Sankalpa or intention such as “I will step on the mat every day”, but being flexible enough to accept what you discover when you get there.

Discipline is a key component of yoga and the great Sages placed emphasis on our ability to bring discipline to our practice. However, that doesn’t mean pushing yourself beyond your limits and driving yourself to injury by not listening to your body. Determination is about setting that intention, but being prepared to honour the journey.

“Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down.” ~ Jigar Gor

The power in ‘determination’ is not the end goal but in the process or journey of getting to that goal. What determination does is set us on a path and gives us the motivation to keep moving forward.

How can you harness the power of determination?

As we enter the busiest period of the year, resolve to make a commitment to your practice. Weave the power of yoga into your schedule by aligning your tasks and actions with your practice. Set aside non-negotiable time for yourself by committing to stepping on the mat regularly. 

Be committed to your intention but flexible in your approach. Learn to go with the flow and honour how you feel each and every day. Some days you’ll be firing on all cylinders and that Power class will align perfectly, other days you may resonate with the nurturing practice of Yin. The key is to listen to your body to honour where it’s at and nurture your mind by letting go of any judgement or expectation.

And lastly, embrace your growth on and off the mat. That is the true beauty of yoga, that we are always growing under its influence, both in our practice and in life, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

‘Determination’ is your power.

How are you going to approach determination as your power this month? Perhaps set yourself up with a positive affirmation. This could be one for the month or a different positive statement each week or day. We just encourage you to keep it consistently on the theme of ‘Determination’. An example is ‘I am determined to make my dream a reality.’ 

Explore and create your own.

We look forward to seeing you on the mat this month where our teachers will weave our theme of ‘determination is my power’ into their classes and teachings.

Sweat, stretch & smile!
Team Kula

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About the author: Andy is a qualified Yoga Therapist & Teacher. She is Communications Manager at Kula Yoga, co-founder of YogaMamas and runs her own small Yoga Therapy business on the Bellarine Peninsula. Andy is also a health & wellness blogger, hobby photographer and mama of 3!
Photo credit: Kula teacher Sacha Flanagan by Andybbear Photography

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Detoxify & energise with Hot Yoga. Tone & sculpt with Power Flow. Strengthen & stretch with Basics and Slow Flow. Relax & mobilise with Yin Yoga at our beautiful studios in Hawthorn & Hampton, Melbourne. Both studios also host regular workshops, Victorian and overseas retreats to exotic places like Bali, Thailand & India, as well as a mobile yoga service for community, school and corporate groups.

Our Hampton studio has now opened our classes up to the Bayside area including surrounding suburbs such as Sandringham, Brighton, Black Rock, Highett and Beaumaris. Enjoy modern facilities, expert teachers and a range of complementary wellness services for optimal health.

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