I just might be a yoga junkie. Maybe 😉
I also might be a person that loves to help people get stronger in themselves.
Practicing yoga teaches skills that are fundamental to a stress free-ish life. No, it’s not going to melt every piece of stress and anxiety right out of your life. But it definitely can help you to learn how to cope positively with the majority of things life will throw at you.
- Breathe through it
When you practice yoga, you learn to breathe through your poses. As your ass is burning or your hips are on fire your first instinct is not to breathe. But you do. And the more you practice the more it becomes habit to release your focus from the pain and bring it back to the breath. When you got it, you got it, and it becomes natural to apply it to your daily life. Life gets tough. It can be painful, overwhelming, and frustrating. These kind of situations can sometimes cause us to make poor, impulsive choices that range from over-eating to threatening behavior. But when you breathe through, you tend to not make poor, impulsive decisions.
- Root to rise
Learning how to get the most out of your practice includes learning how to use all parts of yourself to align your poses properly. It’s in the little things. And often starts with the feet. The ground. Your roots. You have to have a firm foundation to be able to balance, to lift up from your waist line, to stand firm. As in life, you have to know where you came from, be OK with your roots, to be able to move forward and succeed.
- Let go of what doesn’t serve you
In the moment you can only focus on your breath and your asana. You have to let go of the chatter, the I can’t, all of the other things that preoccupy your mind. When you can do this on your mat it helps you to take the process off of it, too. Let go of the worry and obsessing about things you have no control over.
- Listen to yourself
If it hurts, back out. If you need a break, go to child’s pose. When you need an extra breath, take it. This mindfulness is one of the strongest things you can learn in yoga. You can apply it to work, relationships, eating, and other forms of exercise. The other piece of this?
- Be still
In all the years I have been practicing the hardest thing to do is to be still. Before I start, upon conclusion, sitting in lotus with palms up to receive. Eyes closed. Mind quiet. Pssshhhhht. Still rarely happens. But I give it my best. And in the moments I can truly be still, great things happen.
If you’re a yogi, what do you think of this list? If not, would you be willing to give it a go for a month and see what happens? Let me know!