THE BLOG
04/18/2014 02:19 pm ET Updated Jun 18, 2014

The Butterfly Effect on Yoga and Your Practice

Have you ever heard about the Butterfly Effect? No, I'm not talking about that pretty silly Ashton Kutcher movie from 2004, although the concept is the same. Edward Lorenz coined the phrase, which refers to whether a butterfly flapping its wings in China could led to a hurricane weeks later in Chicago. Or somethin' like that. You're starting to wonder why this yogi is trying to discuss chaos theory. Let me make it simple: Can a small act today have a huge impact tomorrow? When it comes to yoga, the answer is absolutely yes.

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When you come to one of my classes, I expect you to bring not only your body and your mind, I want you to bring your imagination to boot. I'm a firm believer that if you can visualize it, you can manifest it. When people come to class distracted, one hand in the pose the other still figuratively workin' their iPhones and iPads, I can feel it. And that little bit of distraction can have a big impact in the long run, even leading to injuries. Your mind flutters away like a butterfly searching for somewhere to roost, and that knee injury is the hurricane that comes weeks later. Catch my drift?

But look, I'm not trying to be a downer. I want you to think about the Butterfly Effect from another perspective: how can this little theory help you? How can you use your mind to brew a future breakthrough, rather than a future breakdown, in your body? Imagine you're in triangle. Take your arm, and reach not for the wall, but out to the ocean, straight through to the continent across the sea. Feel your energy extend and fill the room. Now you're fueling not only your own practice, but the practice of everyone around you.

Every time I personally shift from Warrior I to Warrior II, I feel like a superhero parting the sea. Because of my actions in the room, some crazy waves are happening down in Costa Rica. I can feel it. My imagination paired with my body creates an unstoppable force. And yours can too. The next time you're 40 minutes into a 90-minute practice and feel your mind start to wonder, think about the impact your momentary dalliance can have. Focus your mind, reinvigorate your practice, and prepare to make some waves.