Alfred A. Montapert
“Your life will be no better than the plans you make and the action you take. You are the architect and builder of your own life, fortune, destiny.”
Many times in life we believe that we are bystanders instead of builders. Perhaps, this is a cultural concept, embraced by Greco-Roman beliefs in Fates and Fortune as anthropomorphic deities, believing that you are powerless to handle the hurdles in front of you because you were meant to have them. There is another spin on that theory. Indians believe that we all have a dharma, but that we are meant to build and construct within that framework and how we do that defines us. For the non-religious or spiritual, there is also the Nietzschean point of view that we have no one guiding our path but us, and that how we live is a testament to our will. In their own way, all of these perspectives are correct because they all take into consideration that power we have to build and shape our existence.
Yoga for many is an analogy for that capacity within us to grow and stretch and refine our lives. When we practice Yoga in the beginning we may not find flexibility immediately. We’re not capable of making our body do some of the positions that it is capable of with effort and perseverance. One of the things so enjoyable about Yoga is the progression, the visible progression towards physical and mental flexibility. Contrary to what many think, everyone learns a Yoga pose differently. They must consider how to coax their body into a position it does not naturally assume. The same is true of our brains. A flexible mind is an adaptive mind. Being able to embrace your flexibility will improve how you think, how you learn, and what you are able to overcome.
Knowing that you have this power within you to shape you body, should help you to also embrace that same power to shape your existence. Those daily choices we make help to lay the groundwork for tomorrow, and so on and so on. We slowly build our bodies, minds, careers, and lives out of tiny actions piled upon one another. Today, you will stretch farther than you stretched yesterday. This is true in Yoga and in life.
Always remember that your mind is powerful. Whether you are religious, spiritual, or atheist—it doesn’t matter, there are universal, scientific truths behind the idea that we draw towards us the type of energy we put out. Einstein discussed this when he spoke of all things being energy. When we embrace happiness and joy, we receive more of it. Therefore, it is important to remember that we have this power to bring joy into our lives as we move forward.
Yoga is an exercise. It is a philosophy. It is a science. It is a way of understanding truths put before us. As Montapert explains, your life will become better or worse depending upon your plans and actions. You won’t become healthier without planning for it. You won’t become healthier without taking those plans and doing something with them. Yoga proves that as we stretch, move forward, we will accomplish.