Recently I’ve found myself thinking about samskaras. In yoga philosophy samskaras are seen as mental or emotional patterns that are part of us, passed on by reincarnation and karma in past and present lives.
Basically put, a samskara is a deeply ingrained habit or behaviour and we all have them. I bet it’ll take you less than a few seconds to think of one of your bad habits. I bet you have lots of good ones too.
The more a samskara is repeated, the deeper the impression becomes. Think of an old record and how the needle dutifully follows the hard-to-resist groove.
We’re all creatures of habit and often we feel the pull of the familiar – in our physical bodies, our thoughts and how we live our lives.
I’m approaching a change that I know will definitely alter my samskara. In a few weeks I’m moving in with A Boy.
Now before you say anything, yes, I know it’s exciting. I know it represents a step forward in our relationship. And I want to move in and be with him.
But change can be scary.
In an article on the Yoga Journal website, it talks about how “we often resist new patterns for fear of losing the identities we’ve so carefully constructed.
I get this. We both have different ideas about what it means to relax at home. He has two TVs whereas I have none (he says it’s the equivalent of having one each which is perfectly normal).
We’re building new samskara and we’ll deepen those grooves together. I’m learning about his beloved Watford FC and he’s been to yoga classes. I’m optimistic that some day we will find a way to stack the draining board that keeps us both happy.
The Yoga Journal article continues to say,
“When we change a long-held pattern, we undergo a rebirth of sorts. This rebirth hints at a new incarnation, a more evolved version of the self. Yet improving our samskara brings us closer to our true nature, which is the goal of yoga.”
So if you’re undergoing any big changes to your samskara (and I know some of you are), hang on in there. It’ll be worth it.
April and I will be exploring samskara in our next yin yang workshop on Saturday 25 April at All Saints Studios. Visit the workshops page to learn more.