10 things Yoga taught me

When I started my yoga practice, I wanted to be more strong, flexible and calm. Period. I was not looking anything further. But, sometimes the best gifts come in disguise. Yoga taught me lessons that have metamorphosed my life!

Life Lessons Yoga taught me

1. The body, thoughts follow the Breath

Breathe right! It may sound simple or even trivial. But everytime you feel lost, disconnected; Breathe deeper and be aware of the sound and the sensations. It gives you the courage and comfort to keep moving. Just like we use Ujjayi breath to stay in an asana, be aware of your breath to flow through the day!

2. Be present

We are either planning , reviewing, worrying or fantasizing. We are so often caught in the past or future, that we forget to relish the here and now. Yoga without awareness is not yoga! We might do a 108 suryanamaskars with our mind all over the place. But, a mindful 21 suryanamaskars is so much more beneficial to the mind, body and soul! Therefore, use your breath to stay present. 🙂

3. Find your balance

It sounds simple enough to say “you need balance in your life;” But it’s another thing to attain that balance. Yoga teaches us that balance is a result of discipline and perseverance. When we fall off the wagon, we can either wait for the next asana. Or, we decide to get back on the wagon until we succeed. Life plays by the same rules too…

4. Look inside for solutions

I love the quote, “When you change, the whole world around you changes!” “I had a bad day, the mat is slippery, the music is too loud, so on and so forth.” We can either look for everything that is wrong on the outside or you can choose to make your practice better! So often we blaming everything around us. But, maybe we are the sole problem. So look inside, introspect and you will find the best things in life.

5. It’s about the journey, not the destination!

Remember all the times you fell, while trying to get into the headstand. The times worked for a stronger core, that you could get into the headstand. Similarly, life is about the journey, not the destination. Enjoy the means and the end is justified!

6. The body has intuition

Your body knows when to stop or take a break. That’s why the lack of flexibility or we get sick. The body knows your limits, so follow it to be injury-free. Similarly, so often our “heart is wrenching” or “there are butterflies in the stomach.” The body has intuition relating to your physical limits and your emotional needs. Value listening to what the body has to say and you will love and be comfortable in your body!

7. How we do one thing is how we do everything

One of the amazing things about yoga, is that similarly to psychotherapy.  People tend to approach their practice in the same way that they approach other areas of their life. Do you eaily give up when you cannot get into an asana? Everytime you faulter in a balance asanas, do you come back easily? For this reason, raise your practice and life becomes easier!

8. We are good at what we do everyday

When we practice a particular asana everyday. We get into that pose perfectly and we can stay there effortlessly. Similarly, practice kindness, courage, respect everyday. And these qualities become a part of you!

9. Your practice is unique

Do what feels best and feels right in your body. This is the same for your life. Accept challenges and your body/life will have a newness to it. What works for another person may not work for you. So design your life, your way!

10. Laugh at your bloopers

Once in a while we might have fallen on our neighbour, while trying to balance. Or your body might have sqeaked, quacked or wheezed. Just laugh it out! Don’t take life too seriously. Smile in an asana and in your daily life. It’s way to short to get embarrased or depressed. 🙂 🙂

I went into yoga for a physical experience and came out with a renewed sense of purpose! There was mental clarity, gratitude, more flexibility for mankind and a different mental process. Who would have thought all that could come from spending sixty minutes on a mat?

Iti Jain

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