Trans·for·ma·tion /ˌtransfərˈmāSHən/ Noun: 1a. The action of changing in form, shape, or appearance; metamorphosis.
Transformation Zones are places where change happens. Since change is continuously unfolding, no matter where we are, we’ll find ourselves in a zone of transformation, however each transformation zone has its own unique characteristics.
Gary Gray, PT, and David Tiberio, Ph.D., the principals of the Gray Institute first used the phrase “transformational zones” in their work with movement specialists (athletic trainers, chiropractors, osteopaths, physical therapists, personal trainers, and Yoga teachers) to identify moments in time in which a person undergoes whole body changes in direction.
Of course for many of us, changes – whether whole body changes of direction, or changes in lifestyle, or outlook, or status, etc. – are not always something we navigate as well as we’d like.
However, Yoga can steady us in the face of ongoing transformations:
- Asana (body practices) can help us navigate the whole body changes of direction that we experience as we move about in our daily lives;
- Pranayama (breath practices) focuses us on the mysterious transformations in our breathing – of an inhale becoming an exhale becoming an inhale – and how that process impacts our attention; and
- Dhyanam (attention practices) reveal how the quality of our mind and the openness of our hearts are impacted not only by how we hold our body and the quality of our breathing, but also on what we hold in our attention.
It’s not that practicing Yoga immunizes us from change. That’s not the takeaway. It’s not that ‘bad’ things stop happening to those who practice Yoga or that we develop the capacity to attract only ‘good’ things into our life.
Rather, it’s by intimately knowing and embracing the changes occurring within and around us as ‘change’ and not as a stand-in for or a commentary on who are we, that we can become aware that, paradoxically, there is a part of us and part of all things that is permanent and unchanging.
Practicing Transformation Zone Yoga is a practice of being with change.