How yoga can help you rewrite the rule book

A little while back my family and I sat down to a game of Monopoly. As the money was divided, the trinkets chosen and the dice rolled, everyone’s alter egos began to appear. Strategic thinkers and planners morphed into seat-of-the-pants speculators, spendthrifts threw caution to the wind and bet the lot on risky properties, and habitual prevaricators made decisive choices in seconds.

Why? Partly because no one had any great attachment to the outcome of the game. But partly because it was a game to which we all knew the rules – rules that were laid out in black on white on a neatly folded piece of paper.

When we’re given clear rules to follow, it’s easy for us to decide exactly how to behave. But have you ever been handed “The Rule Book of Life”?

Our everyday decisions are actually based on the rules by which we think the world operates: we’ve made up our own rules as we’ve gone along. How do we know these rules are correct? Do our rules help us or hinder us?

Each of us determines the rules for living our life based on our own unique experience, and how we interpret the things that happen to us. Whilst I’m a fast earning property developer on the Monopoly board, in real life I strategically assess the value of any purchase over $20. This is one of the rules I’ve written for myself, but mine is not the only rule book in life – how else would there be so many successful property developers?

At its heart Yoga is about helping us to rewrite our rule book; to reply creatively to any situation, rather than react. This form of Yoga is something that we can practice all day, every day, in all that we do. It requires us to learn to observe our behaviour, our thinking and our subsequent actions.

In any given situation take the time to reflect on how your rule book instructs you to think and behave. Then ask yourself if there is another option; what would happen if you behaved differently?

Its not always easy to take the time to create rather than react to life’s situations but who knows how your rule book could be rewritten?

Image credit: mtsofan on Flickr

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