This morning I practiced yoga for the 25th time in the last 27 days, it truly is the best way to start a morning! Why is this girl practicing yoga almost everyday you ask? Because I’m doing a yoga challenge at my studio which is coming to an end on Saturday — we’re in the home stretch! My friend Hemarie, who’s also doing the challenge, compared this last week to running the last three miles of a marathon: this analogy is spot on. My body is tired & I can see the finish line, I’m pushing hard to find the strength in me to finish strong. I was thinking of this very thing this morning as I attempted headstand…
Headstand is a new pose to me, I’ve always been scared to try it. Last night I looked around the room as people got into their headstands & finally mustered up the courage to ask my instructor to breakdown the pose for me sometime. This morning she came over to me & walked me through the whole thing, for the first time since I started practicing I actually sorta held it & didn’t feel like I was going to snap my neck in the process — it was so satisfying! Not just cause I was in the pose, but because the headstand symbolized something: Me taking a risk, trying something new that’s outside of my comfort zone. This is when it hit me, the yoga challenge is doing a lot more than improving my physique (hello quasi-abs!), it’s improving my emotional state as well.
That’s the thing about yoga, it makes you stretch in all sorts of ways & teaches you valueable lessons you can take off the mat. Here are the lessons I’ve learned so far:
- When I think I can’t do something, I have to at least try it. I’ve surprised myself many times over when I’ve tried poses in my mind I think I can’t do. I won’t know if I can’t do something unless I give it a shot. Sometimes I succeed (like today’s headstand victory), sometimes I fail (like my attempts at crow), but at least I’m trying. I know eventually I’ll get there
- Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself. A lot of times I don’t try something in class cause I don’t want to look like a fool but you know what, there’s no shame in slipping or falling or adjusting. It’s all part of the process, builds character & teaches you lessons for the next time you attempt that pose on the mat
- Make friends, get to know your neighbor. It can be intimidating to be in a room full of yogis & yoginis, am I right? At the beginning of the challenge I didn’t make much conversation with those around me but now I’m taking the time to chat before or after practice with my neighbors. I’ve met some really nice people, have gotten pointers, encouragement & now have smiling faces to greet the next time I walk into the studio
- Seek love everywhere you go. My favorite author Oscar Wilde once said “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” I love that quote, because it’s so true:. In yoga you really have to rely, love & appreciate your body. Namaste, the famous yoga greeting, means “the light in me recognizes & loves the light in you.” Life is all about loving others & allowing yourself to be loved. Wherever you are in your life, fitness journey, you fill in the blank, embrace it & love through it
I’ve learned many more lessons but these are really rocking my world right now. I hope reading them today made you smile, or even think about these as they apply to life, to your life in particular. Here’s to headstands & life lessons!
If you’re a yogi, what has yoga taught you? If you’re not a yogi, what life lessons have you learned lately? I would love to hear them!