A pattern: A set way in which something is done; is organized or happens. Specific instructions to guide a process. An example for others to follow. Patterns help us in our daily lives unless the pattern was created with faulty information. Let’s start with a simple example, Triangle Pose. Let’s pretend you were you taught the pose just by its basic shape. The basic shape that maybe lift up your front big toe on the front foot as you inner thigh back on your back leg. (Please do not follow these instructions—they are faulty.)
So, every time you moved into the pose. The pose looked like what you knew Triangle Pose to look like. Your legs had a wide triangular base of support, your arms were separated. The pose looked good. Maybe even felt good because you had figured out how to support yourself in this shape. However, over time you moved from Triangle to Half Moon, you couldn’t hold the second pose. As soon as the back leg would lift off the ground, you couldn’t stay grounded on your standing leg. So then you began to turn your standing toes more out to the side to compensate for the imbalance. And you practiced this way for months, maybe even longer. And just like Triangle, you figured out how to hold Half Moon. And they both looked pretty good. Except, over time you started to notice your knees started to ache a bit… Well, maybe the ache could be because of age, or maybe the ache could be because every time you moved into Your Triangle and Your Half Moon, you were moving your body (foot and knee) out of the safest alignment to be able to hold the pose.
You were rocking the pose. It could not be the pose. Yours looked like all the photos and everyone else’s in class. And then one day, a teacher mentioned pressing your front big toe down as you…. and you think, “Whoa… I can’t press my front big toe down, I have to lift it up. That is how I move into the pose”.
Patterns. Now, not only are you at the point of risking the looks of your lovely poses, but then you might have to relearn something. Think about something differently. The pose might not even look as good as you relearn, re-establish a new pattern.
Now, let’s move onto something a bit more difficult. Patterns off of your mat. How you relate to your kids, your significant other, or your response when your work schedule gets changed. The same changes have to happen to create a healthy and stable life as they to do create a strong yoga pose. You have to break down—sometimes tear and pry down—the old habits and way of doing things. We can’t stack new ideas or thoughts on top of the old and expect lasting change to happen. We must work from the ground up. And in order for the best, we must work from the truth. Otherwise, we might end up with another unstable relationship or faulty expectations.
– Where does your stability come from?
– When you are establishing patterns, what is your “plumb line” that you base your decisions from?
16-17 But the Master, God, has something to say to this: “Watch closely. I’m laying a foundation in Zion, a solid granite foundation, squared and true.And this is the meaning of the stone: a trusting life won’t topple.I’ll make justice the measuring stick and righteousness the plumb line for the building. A hailstorm will knock down the shantytown of lies,and a flash flood will wash out the rubble. – Isaiah 28:16-17 (MSG)