Breaking the Cycle of Saṃskāra

Goodbye summer, and hello fall! As September arrives, the long, sweltering Wilmington summer begins to dwindle as we welcome the reprieve of cooler days. After Labor Day, the buzz and intensity of summer fades as we return to the daily grind of our lives. School is back in session; work loads increase; and we revisit the familiar hustle and bustle of life. In fall, there is a sense of​ cycling back to the routine patterns of our lives. Likewise, the world around us also shifts into a familiar seasonal motif. With the arrival of fall, we once again greet and witness the amber hue of the sun, the changing of the leaves, and the lightness of crisp, fall air.

Nature’s seasons illuminate the inevitable cyclical component to life. In some cases, the cycles of our lives are important and serve us well. For instance, our bodies cycle with the moon, keeping us in rhythm with nature. Or we move through a succession of rituals that keep us centered and grounded. We even embark on these cycles on our mats, with ​​the familiar stability of a sun salutation or ​meditation on the breath cycle. Inherently, cycles are not problematic--as long as the cycle keeps us moving upward and onward rather than holding us back.

We all engage in cyclical behavior that might prevent us from living as our highest Self or in the light of our Truth. These cycles, in Sanskrit, are called saṃskāras (sam, complete or joined together; kara, action, cause, or doing). saṃskāras are impressions, ideas, or actions that are repeated, creating a deeply carved trench that is difficult to climb out of. As such, the habitual cycle or saṃskāra becomes ingrained in our bodies and minds keeping us farther from our Truth.

This can play out in a multitude of ways in our lives. For example, we might engage in a pattern of unhealthy relationships. Or we might find ourselves in self-defeating thought patterns. We can even find this on our yoga mats when we get into habits of pushing ourselves too hard or demanding our bodies to feel and move the same way every day. Saṃskāras limit our ability to grow. What makes saṃskāras complex is that their impressions are deeply embedded into our subconscious. Thus, without introspection and intention, we may continue to deepen and live in the centrifuge of our patterns.

The return of fall is a reminder of Nature’s cycles, but it underscores the importance of breaking patterns within our own cycles--to let go. Nature lets go for the sole purpose of being reborn healthier, stronger, more fruitful, and revived. As the temperature drops and the leaves flutter to the ground, autumn illustrates the beauty of letting go and provides a rare opportunity to release what doesn’t serve so that rather than digging ourselves deeper into an unhealthy cycle, we can spiral upward toward clarity, bliss, and moksha (freedom).

Join us for our upcoming events which are sure to provide new insights, ideas, and practices to help you change your habits both on and off the mat:

Learn More About Your Practice
There’s no greater way to understand your cycles and habits on and off the mat than by diving deeply into the study of yoga. Our Yogic Studies and Teacher Training Program is designed for anyone who want examine their personal practice and apply the teachings of yoga to his or her own life. Fall training begins September 8! Can't enroll for fall? Plan ahead for the Spring 2018 session. Registration is already open!

Change Your Perspective
Turn upside down and fly to see your practice in a new perspective. Come to Deven Sisler’s AcroYoga Weekend Intensive--a playful opportunity to see your practice in new ways and from new heights. Full weekend and individual sessions are available.

Also, Join our online Inversion Excursion Yoga Challenge and spend 21-days growing your inversion practice.


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