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Yoga: The Door of No Return | Article by Keith Mitchell


Who or what do you say that you are? Do you see yourself simply as the obvious?

Recognizing how we see ourselves gives us more of an understanding of self-potential; I believe it also creates more of a clear consciousness of what we claim we love and also addresses the capacity in which we are able to receive love.

How do we learn or better yet how have we been conditioned to learn?

This question is equally important due to the fact that as our consciousness expands, we must address how we learned these conditioned patterns of thought.

When I was introduced to yoga, I realized a lot of anger. I realized my frustration. Everything would be amazing in solitude, but in interactions with others, I realized there was a large amount of lingering residue.

I began to inquire about everything and monitor the words coming in and going out. I began to observe myself and my thoughts before they would arise, and even when I slipped, I would check myself. If doubt would come to my mind, I would follow up with my mantra of choice. I began to nurture my practices – realizing that all are amazing tools, but we, the individual, must initiate and cultivate the intent.

Is memorization truly learning? It seems to me that we’ve done just that. We’ve studied to test and that has become our practice. In self-inquiry, the memory doesn’t really apply. It’s more of feeling and reflecting – to be trapped in the mind, not realizing why there’s frustration and confusion; having family relationships solely on the surface, nothing of real significance, and speaking the word love out of habit; seeing myself in relationships simply coexisting, not realizing this too is a learned behavior first introduced during childhood by my parents; adopting success, pets, and children, thinking this would take me off the roller coaster of unhappiness.

Why is mediation and yoga so powerful to me? It allows me to bring the internal self to form and make it tangible. For me, being a man, I realized I had built this armor – whether it be physically, economically, or emotionally, to mask the emptiness. The tools of yoga allows those holes to be filled with acceptance and love.

Knowledge is truly power because when you allow the knowledge to be yours, you become accountable and to be the victim is no longer possible. What I enjoy about my discovery is that my connections are real connections, my family is my family, and as I give love, I can equally receive love. The meanings of life and my words are my own. I am free.

Keith Mitchell was a Pro Bowl Linebacker in the National Football League. But his 7 year career ended on a paralyzing tackle. Keith was comatose for days before doctors could inform him of his spinal contusion. Yoga was the medicine that allowed him to regain full mobility. Keith is a yoga advocate, teacher that enjoys sharing the practice all over the world.

One Response to “Yoga: The Door of No Return | Article by Keith Mitchell”

  1. Ashley Leal says:

    I enjoyed this article :) Shared it on my yoga studio page… However, I did notice a typo – the ever common mediation vs meditation… It has happened to me countless times ;)
    (2nd to last paragraph)

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