Notice I didn't say taught. Why? Well, one of the biggest lessons I've been learning from yoga is that it's a learning experience... every day, every action, every move, every breath. The journey is never over, the learning never ends. Not just a learning of moves, but a learning of yourself.
In the last couple weeks yoga has been what I've been feeling. It has been my preferred from of exercise. Lifting heavy weights, doing high-intensity workouts and running are all things I'm sure I'll feel like in due time, but right now I'm going to soak up the feeling of gaining strength by slowing it down and stretching it out. I'm finding a newfound strength on the inside that is even greater than the strength being gained on the outside. As many say, yoga is just as much about life as it is about working out and fitness. Here are some of the surprising things I've learned as well as reminders that I've learned about in life:
1) Your thoughts affect you
You better believe they do. Your thoughts are things you tell yourself, and eventually you believe what you tell yourself. So be compassionate to yourself, be patient with yourself, and better yet... be proud of yourself! Talk yourself up to yourself. Find a mantra, or a statement that gives you power from within. Say it often enough and before you know it you'll be feeling it and believing it.
2) Shake it off
Just because you fall down, lose balance or get a little fatigued doesn't mean you can't keep going. Take a step back, a deep breath in, shake it off, and regroup. You don't need to be perfect, but try you must.
3) It's a journey
Start right where you are, and be okay with it. You may make progress as you practice, learn how to adjust along the way, and find enjoyment in the journey of getting there. Just like a roadtrip, half the fun is just getting there.
4) Your best today might not be your best of yesterday or your best for tomorrow
Some days you got it, some days you don't. It is was it is.. but you've showed up, you've tried and you're doing your best. Do your best today, and be okay that "your best" may change from day to day. Life is a series of seasons. In some seasons we excel, others we just maintain, and others we take a step back and just need to regroup. Embrace your season... embrace your best.
Don't just get to a spot, position or pose. Once you get there, explore it a little. Wiggle your toes, twist your wrists, bend your knees. What's right for someone else might not feel right for you, so play around til you find what feels good to you.
6) Focus will help you get there
Focus. Eliminate distractions. Be mindful of your thoughts, of your actions, and focus. When you're distracted, you stumble and fall. When you focus, you gain strength, build a solid foundation and can move forward further and with greater intent.
When I have something I love, I feel the need for others to know more about it, to share it, and to allow others to experience it. For some of you, reading this post may be just what you are looking for, and is all that you need. For others, you may be curious, you may want to find out what you can learn from yoga. Will you learn some things that I didn't mention here? How will your journey be different? I encourage you to explore that curiosity, and I want to help you.
Join me for a FREE 30 Day Yoga Challenge. I have some yoga videos that I love and can do in the comfort of my very own home. Interested in joining me on this journey? Fill out this form and I'll hook you up with the free workouts + the accountability group that we'll all be a part of to share what we have learned. We are starting on Monday, October 3rd! You in?