Yo…..it took a lot out of me to get to the point of even writing this. I mean I am a yogi but straight up don’t push me. I am a living practice LOL….which means don’t come for me unless I call for you! Aaaaaaand because I am a living practice ain’t nobody checking for drama over here.
It seems like a simple idea to understand, the idea of boundaries and limits I mean. We go through life acting like we are so offended that we forget to hold ourselves accountable for being wack..yeah I said it…I said being wack. What I mean by “wack” in this blog is moving beyond your boundaries. Another way to think about it is “staying in your lane”, how many times have you, yourself accused someone of getting out of “their lane”? Maybe they talk out of turn, speak their mind when no one asked them, maybe they “do too much”, possibly can’t control their mouths or even their hands. Essentially this person is a loose cannon and their very presence is at times a threat to peace.
When someone steps out of their lane we say so….we tell them they have crossed a boundary that they shouldn’t have, not only that but we remind them that there are consequences when they do such. I tell my daughters they are on tricycles and they wanna jump into my lane of fast moving semis…. they don’t want this flow running over them LOL.
But sometimes it’s not my kids crossing over into my lane its “other” people. I won’t name names because I did write that “Poses to Shake of the Petty” post just the other day; nonetheless lets just say I have a chronic issue with people crossing boundaries with no regard, they have no control, they have no respect and they have no practice of defining, establishing and respecting boundaries. I am specifically referring to people not realizing their words and actions cause damage. If you are an abuser, emotional, physical or verbal…if you are a manipulator or a narcissist, if you are passive aggressive or as we say “play games”; boundaries for you are different. No one can cross yours but you have no worries crossing others. If you are none of the above but have expectations of others and they always seem to disappoint you and you always feel slighted…your perception of boundaries is slightly different. People need to be a certain way for you to be a certain way. The only problem with that is that it’s manipulative and controlling. It is as if we are training puppies instead of enjoying company or allowing someone to show us who they are and deciding honestly if we really rock with them or not.
So….what does this have to do with yoga? EVERYTHING! (Y’all know I can relate anything to yoga LOL). I like to use the strap to remind the body of where the boundaries are. Sometimes in downward facing dog pose, thread the needle or any other pose like cobra where the fingers and palms are the foundation we can go to where is comfy.
Comfy may be elbows pointing out the sides, or chest sinking through the shoulders. The strap brings some awareness and support to the arms.
What is the benefit of body boundaries in yoga? Well first off it helps you understand healthy alignment and then shows you (if you’re paying attention) the areas of strengthening you need to do within the defined boundaries to support that pose while keeping the alignment. It also helps you understand what is too far, too flexible, too cold bodied and too egotistical.
I feel like some people just need a strap around their whole lives! Like seriously what is up with people and their uncontrollable mouths, egos and dare I say “love”?! When we are out of control we hurt people, but often we have already decided that whatever hurt we offer is well deserved. Here in lies the misconception of your invisible boundary. When people come at us yes going off may be the only option, but when you are the loose cannon, when you are the one that does too much, when you are the one that can’t stay in their own lane there are some core skills that need strengthening. While a strap can’t help you in your life it can remind you of how and why its important to stay closer to yourself instead of far inside other people.
- So how do you make boundaries your bae?
Practice setting and respecting your own boundaries. It’s easy to tell others what and how to do it, but util we feel it in our bodies and have an experience even the advice is shallow. A good way to establish boundaries is to get into the habit of lovingly offering assistance, or advice and graciously accepting if it is denied. At the end of the day people should have the option to listen to your thoughts about them or their situation. I learned this from a very close friend. Chellz has helped me understand where my lane is in life as a friend. Just because I have thoughts doesn’t mean my friends want to hear them or have to hear them. It should be their choice, and if they choose to not listen to me I have actively respected their boundary and am giving them what they feel good with and not just what I think they should have at that moment. It isn’t to say people won’t ever listen, sometimes they are not ready to do so, or sometimes they just need us to listen and for them to be heard.
- This is for people who are offended by how people use their time. Ever been irritated at how long it takes someone to respond to a text message? LOL…. Yeah if you go off on someone for responding WHEN THEY CHOOSE TO RESPOND this will be a good practice for understanding boundaries. First of all, no one is obligated to do anything when you want. I will repeat NO ONE IS OBLIGATED TO DO ANYTHING WHEN YOU WANT THEM TO. My grandmother said “Just they call don’t mean you gotta run and answer”. Please understand that while you assign meaning to things they aren’t shared meanings and often we can live in “if/then” scenarios like “if it take more than 5 minutes for them to respond then they on bull”.
However we know there could be a guap of other reasons someone isn’t responding. Instead of telling someone what they need to do and how they need to respond…….take a breath and practice saying “I allow people to use their time in their own way and I choose not to take it personally”.
- If you are a giver in any way sometimes it could lead to over-sharing. I was a chronic social-media oversharer, telling people all about my moments and sharing my stories and memories. If you tend to share lots of your life online consider practicing boundary setting by saving some of that information for those closest to you. It’s natural to want to share good news and fun times however it can lead to blurred lines for many other aspects of our lives and allow access to people that shouldn’t have that closeness and probably don’t deserve it either. Set a social media boundary for keeping some things only for yourself and close friends a
nd family to be shared in person or over the phone.
The above practices are all things that I myself have played around with and are now apart of just how I do me. I am so serious about doing me and I have found that I can only control my brea
th and beyond the tip of my nose all else is moved by others. When we understand boundaries in yoga our bodies sing! We protect our bodies from injury, we learn how to strengthen our bodies to access poses and we practice honoring ourselves by accepting where we truly are in our bodies at that moment. I can’t say that this way of being is easy, but trust and believe you will find yourself giving less care and judgement to things and more attention to yourself and your ways.