Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 16 : May/June 2007  > Columns  >  Outdoor Yoga  >  Breaking the Routine


Outdoor Yoga

By Patrick Oancia

Breaking the Routine


Use yoga to change habitual patterns preventing us from obtaining what we want most out of life.

All of us have habits that have worked their way into our lives through daily routine. Some are good, some not-so-good, but routine is an important part of our lives. Periodically, however, modifying our routines can bring a fresh blast of new energy.

It can often be traumatizing to let old habits go; not unlike having a good friend move to another part of the world. Some of us get so rooted in habitual patterns, we risk becoming completely unaware of just how stuck we have become. We take on a kind of numbness in the safety of knowing exactly what to expect from day to day.

One of the things yoga practice unveils is a deep understanding of physical patterns. As we start to work with the body, for example, we see how tight our muscles or how sore our joints can become. Often the cause of these physical ailments is habitual physical patterns that can develop into chronic conditions.

Through the course of practicing yoga, I’ve became aware of many things that simply blew me away. For example, I learned I had osteoarthritis in my hips going back 10 years—nearly no support cartilage in my hip joints. The doctor told me I had the hips of an 80-year-old and I would need hip replacement within five years. That was 10 years ago.

I also discovered the dull, annoying lower back pain bugging me since I was a kid was attributed to bad posture and misalignment in my pelvis. Over the years, I persevered with yoga, coupled with some alternative therapies to get a better understanding of my body and, eventually, these two conditions in particular immensely improved.

I also started to naturally become more aware of my behavioral patterns, some of which manifested in low confidence in certain scenarios, inevitably creating a mixed bag of neurosis when living my day-to-day life. We all have our quirks, but sometimes it helps to take a closer look at how they affect us.

I found as I became more aware of my physical processes, the psychological processes became more evident as well. I found as I corrected my physical posture I also learned to align my conscious mental state of being. Make sense?

There’s no doubt practicing yoga is a great way to energize your day and release stress. But it can also keep us from expending energy in activities that aren’t beneficial while creating new habits with positive physical and mental effects on our day-to-day lives.