Yoga Inside Out

4 10 2009


I’ve recently started my Yoga teacher training certification.  Its been something I’ve known I would complete at some time on my journey.  I’m ready now, and its a great endeavor to take on right now in my life.

One thing yoga has taught me is that OUTSIDE-IN thinking really becomes a source of our suffering.  When we base our thoughts, actions or lives on what others are doing, or think is best we fail to honour our own higher self.  We begin to lose that authentic connection with the real divine being that we are.

Yoga forces us to think INSIDE out, not the other way around.

How many times have you experienced yourself or seen others GRASP outwardly for validation?  Its quite a common reaction in society to see this.  I call it the GRASPING SYNDROME.

The grasping syndrome is something we have all experienced at some point or another.  Its a AUTOmatic response to stress, pain, anxious feelings, depression, boredom and many more states of mind.  We feel the drive to GRASP outside of ourselves to numb the pain, ease the anxiety, put out the fire of our anger, and get the “high” we hunger for when we feel low in the dumps.

Grasping seems an active response because it often can be quite physical and in extreme situations violent and self or other abusive.

Examples of GRASPING:

  • Feeling frustrated we lash out at our boss, co worker, partner, family for something that was our own issue to start with.
  • Bored or sad we reach out for the cigarette, the brownie, the hit of E or the “one” drink that turns into many many drinks.
  • Feeling insecure, so we project that onto the other by picking on their behaviours, or trying to control thier actions by blaming them of  being dishonest, inappropriate or just not respectful enough.
  • Grasping is a primitive action based on the survival mechanism still ingrained in our biology.  Only in 2009 it doesn’t serve the same purpose.
  • Grasping is an unconscious state.  Its not being present in the moment with your feelings, thoughts and REALITY.  Its a protective mechanism so we don’t feel the intensity of our pain or “bad” feelings.

I know its hard to sit with a painful feeling.  Its dam hard.  The ache, the tormenting thoughts, the knots or emptiness of feeling completely alone and misunderstood is very REAL and not pleasant. BUT avoiding it all doesn’t allow you the freedom that comes with going through the mess and coming out the other side in a much more evolved place.

The more we GRASP to not feel and push down what hurts and feels like crap, the more we avoid ACHIEVING reaching a higher ground.  The more we GRASP the more we cheat ourselves out of coming to seeing our LIGHT.

AND its no one’s fault really, but our own.  Its easy for anyone to point the finger OUTWARDLY to the other for our pain or inadequacy. BUT in reality we really need to turn that finger the other way.

So the opposite of GRASPING is going INWARDS.  It’s also stopping our auto pilot reactions and unconscious automatic reactions.



  • Calms the nervous system right from the moment you practice pranayama or breathing consciously
  • Stretching the body begins to transfer into your life, by stretching beyond what you have settled for in life
  • The physical practices helps to relieve CONSTRICTION and guides you to learn the ART OF LETTING GO
  • TRUSTING the process inherent in life and every soul on this planet.  That everything is happening as it should, the good and the bad.  Everything has a purpose and trusting the signs the universe screams out at us because we didn’t get it the first time, or 25th time.  The Universe gets LOUDER and LOUDER, heed the call
  • Yoga encourages us to go INWARDS to that place of all knowing, your internal and infallible guidance system

I know that I could never travel on this journey without the belief in a higher being.  I can only speak for myself. But in my experience every time I’ve denied that presence within me, I’ve suffered physically, emotionally but most importantly spiritually.

Being spiritual has really little to do with religion.  Knowing that there is such an amazing, beautiful, omnipotent force out there is not just a way to feel comfortable and able to cope in this often choatic life.

Its an EXPERIENCE.  Its not tangible.  So really I can’t describe it mere words.  Its something felt, on a very deep level.  And EVERYONE is blessed with this opportunity.  Its an inner connection so profound that even just a fleeting few seconds of it can leave you euphoric and vitalized.


I’ve noticed that the more I do the Inner Connection work, the less sleep I need, the more energy I have during my days, and the more AWARE I am of the messages I’m given.

Do you feel stressed?  Are you unhappy in your present financial situation?  Does your job leave you feeling depleted or unfulfilled?  Do your relationships feel more a struggle than a dynamic bond?  Are you dragging your ass out  of bed most mornings, dreading facing another ho hum day?

Its time to connect with that inner guidance system.

Let Yoga be one way you go INWARDS.  Begin with the physical practice of Asana (poses).  You will soon find yourself transferring what you experience on the mat into your life. The serenity, the clarity you achieve there will begin to blissfully blend into your emotional, mental and spritual life.


Yoga heals.  Yoga inspires.  Above all it will RELIEVE you of any limitations you feel presently in your life.

One asana at a time of course.  One step on the journey at a time. One breath at a time.


Travelling Yogi




3 responses

4 10 2009

I am just finding that I suffer strongly from the Grasping Syndrome. It was becoming a teacher that allowed me to find this, because I would be grasping for validation of my teaching skills from my students. I am beginning to realize and understand that the class in NOT about me, its the students’ class. I need to overcome my grasping syndrome to be a better teacher in that way. thank you for enlightening me with your words of wisdom!

4 10 2009

Thank you for sharing that! How insightful to have come to this realization. We sometimes can be our wrost enemy. OFten times as a student taking a class, I lose the awareness that the practice is totally my own. If I focus on the teacher, or another student I lose “my practice” and the present moment of awareness. So yes grasping becomes counter productive, and reaching inside is ironically our WAY OUT 🙂


10 10 2009

Great post! Like a bad habit, I suppose grasping comes easily

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