Namaste Yoga 307 Cultural Conditioning Series The Myth of Continual Improvement

by Melissa West on


The-Myth-of-Continual-ImprovementCultural Conditioning is the social process in which authority figures such as parents, professors, politicians, religious leaders, peers, and the media define our cultural values, beliefs, ethical systems, and ultimately the way we perceive ourselves in the world.

We tend to buy into the myth of the hero’s journey. In an overly simplified version of this journey, the hero is challenged, but eventually arises triumphant and transformed to live life more abundantly than ever before. The hero lives out his days happily ever after.

The truth of the matter is that we go through many cycles in our life. We don’t simply overcome one obstacle to find ultimate resolution. We can also be in multiple cycles of growth at the same time. We are surrounded by such cycles in our natural environment, day turns to night, the moon waxes and wanes, the tide ebbs and flows, the weather is sometimes sunny and sometimes rainy, seasons cycle from autumn to winter, spring to summer. Yet we somehow expect our lives to be in a perpetual state of flow, we expect rainbows without rain and constant sunshine. One of the things I like to say tongue and cheek is that a constantly flowing ocean is a tsunami, not something we actually desire at all.

We exhaust ourselves going after our continual self-improvement projects. As Sara Avant Stover says, “To function with such levels of overdrive, we bury our intuition, crush our desires, and stomp over our bodies subtle signs for rest and nourishment. In driving ourselves so hard, not only do we make ourselves sick and exhausted, but we also hammer nails into our own coffins of unhappiness.”

Metta meditation (loving kindness meditation) teacher Sharon Salzberg says, she used to think, I’m struggling now, but I’m going to come to this great break through experience and then my life will be smooth sailing. She goes on to say that is just not true. Sharon Salzberg explains that when you are present to your experience you will have compassion, you will lose it and you will begin again. Those are the cycles.

When things fall apart, we think we are doing something wrong. However, these cycles from the death of a loved one, divorce, depression, being made redundant at work, miscarriages, illness, anxiety, relationship breakdowns, are all part of being human and will happen to all of us at different and multiple points in our lives. They are part of our lives. They are part of how we get to live fully in our life.

Our yoga practice is a beautiful place to connect with the cyclical nature of our lives. Reflect on where you are in the cycle right now, are in you birth, life, death or rebirth? Do you have multiple cycles going on in different areas of your life – physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically, or spiritually? What would you like to receive most from your yoga practice today?

Props Needed: yoga strap, yoga blocks, meditation cushion, chair or folded blanket

Yoga Postures/Asanas: Supta Padangusthasana or Hand to Big Toe Pose, Keyhole or Figure Four Stretch, Easy Pose or Sukhasana with Yamapasha Mudra, Moon Salutation or Chandra Namaskar, Tadasana or Mountain Pose, Ardha Chandrasana or Standing Side Bend, Goddess Victory Squat or Utkata Konasana, Five Pointed Star, Triangle Pose or Trikonasana, Side Angle Pose or Parsvakonasana, Warrior Two or Virabhadrasana Two, Star Gazer or Reverse cor Peaceful Warrior, Parsvottanasana or Pyramid Pose, Lunge Pose or Anjaneyasana, Malasana or Garland Pose or Full Squat, Cow’s Face or Gomukhasana, Savasana or Corpse Pose

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Today’s question to answer in the comments is: What part of the cycle of birth, life, death or rebirth are you in?

Today we spoke a lot about the cycle of birth life, death and rebirth. If you would like a chart that outlines these cycles of birth, life, death and rebirth and their parallels in nature, then click on the link below and sign up for it.

If you would like more support in connecting with your cycles in life then I would recommend our Waxing to the Full Moon Class and Waning to the Dark Moon class designed for a woman’s Cycle. Waning to the Dark Moon is for during menstruation and Waxing to the Full Moon is for during ovulation so that you can prepare your body for a healthy cycle ahead.

We also have a series of classes dedicated to menopause from perimenopause, menopause, postmenopause along with supportive recipes, herbal teas and tinctures in our membership community.

If you would like more support for these phases in your life, then become a member today.

Become a Member Today

Namaste Yoga 307 Photos of Yoga Poses


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