This isn’t your typical exercise class. In fact yoga isn’t an exercise at all. It’s a practice, a way of life that helps the person practicing it to transcend their physical and spiritual limitations. Yoga uses the art of breathing to use the body as its own healing agent. It’s funny how contorting your body in strange ways and mindful breathing can fix that hip that gives you trouble all the time or how enlightened you feel when you leave class. The benefits are endless, but what I love most about it are the lessons that yoga teaches.
Let Go and Surrender
It’s human nature to want to control the outcome of everything. In life we have to learn to let go of things we can’t change. Yoga teaches you the power of releasing those things which you’re powerless over. It’s okay in yoga to not be able to do something. It’s feedback on what your body is capable of at the moment. Feedback not failure is the mantra that yoga embodies.
Stronger Than You Think You Are
Humans are complex creatures. We can be the most confident souls on the planet, or the most pessimistic beings alive. A lot of people approach life not giving themselves the credit they deserve. We believe we’ll fail before even trying at times. Yoga is a full mind and body experience that will make you believe in the true power of your higher self. If you’ve ever practiced yoga before I’m sure you can attest to how your mind was thinking failure prior to trying a difficult pose, but then all of sudden you NAILED IT! Yoga isn’t easy, but it also isn’t hard. It requires patience, practice and open-mindedness just like any other activity.
Your Body Has a Message For You
Yoga class is mixed with beginners, intermediate and advanced participants. Your teacher might ask you to do something that your body just won’t agree with. The competitor in you will want to push through, but your body is saying, “slow down”. Don’t try to be like the person next to you whose been doing yoga since the age of 5. Listen to your body when it tells you it needs rest. Pushing too hard is a surefire way to injure yourself. It’s okay to stop and rest in yoga.
Be Nice to Yourself
Treating yourself with loving kindness and empathy is important for your progress. We don’t reach the end of any race by beating ourselves up. A positive self image is essential to nourishing your mental and physical wellness. Yoga encourages you to leave negative self-talk at the door and embrace the loving vessel of energy that you are.
Breathe and Relax
Mastering the art of breathing is the key to peace in any situation. When you’re stressed and worried, the heart beats fast and your breathing gets out of whack. Reconnecting to the breath is one of the many benefits of practicing yoga. A great yogi once said, “stillness is your true nature”. Learning to breathe properly will help to calm you down in any situation.