11 lessons yoga taught me
I started yoga back in 2017 when I was really starting to feel the symptoms of anemia. I would get tired after a couple hours of being up and running, groggy and got quite hopeless. It’s no surprise that when you’re body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs that your mental health plummets becoming more susceptible to depression and anxiety. Anemia made it hard to study for long periods of time, get up on time as well as continue high intensity workouts. Running and lifting were not really an option anymore (because I don’t feel like fainting in a gym) so I switched over to walking and yoga. I have been going on my daily old lady walks for three years and bending my body into a pretzel for a little bit over that. Here are the lessons I’ve learned and the reasons you should start as well.
you feel connected to your body- suddenly your body isn’t something you just lug around but a temple made of sacred moving parts and bits. Your body is working for your good!
you are the most important thing- Sounds conceded but it’s true. I am here in this body living for me not others. That’s why I make sure to practice quietly by myself before dealing with all the hecticness behind my bedroom door. You realize how complex you are and how tending to that makes you better, happier and wholeheardtly show up for others.
to continuously live in a state of flow- to be slow to anger and take my time to answer. That I don’t have to chase every single comment, distraction and trigger. Take things as they are and if you don’t like it change it mindfully.
come to the mat with no expectations- you can set intentions of how you want to feel afterwards but sometimes things don’t go our way. It’s important to be okay with that. To understand, believe and practice that I am okay when things don’t go the way I planned.
be curious- “What if we don’t fall?”, “What if we nail it?”, “What if this pose feels really really good?”. Be playful and curious about what lies on the other side of doubt, fear and close-mindedness
your mind and your body become best buddies- sometimes we look at our mind and judge it the grades we get or what we think about most and maybe we look at our body and see abs, glutes that need work and so on. That heart, mind, body connection people talk about in yoga helps you see your true self (and values) in a different light. Everything realigns for your highest good.
this is not a sport- you don’t have to be good to start. Nor do you have to be flexible, knowledgable or active; these are all reasons to start anyways
you get what you put in. If you practice for 10mins a day you will feel the difference and if you practice for 35 mins daily you will reap those benefits. Either way you never regret stepping on the mat
you become grateful. yoga has made me very grateful for my body and what it can and equally what it can’t do (yet or ever). Every-body is different and yoga has variations for everyone.
No need to look around a class or not go to a class because you feel insecure. Yoga is not a competition (of who can hold the most complex poses, how has the latest alo yoga active wear or Lulu mat) it is how we grow within ourselves.
Don’t forget your shavasansa. This helps lower your heart rate and feel really relaxed. I take shavasansas when I am stressed and lying down doing nothing always centres me. We have 24 hours in a day, I’m sure you can allow yourself 10 mins of nothingness. Just 10 mins to lie down, breathe and relax.
I know yoga isn’t appealing because it’s either boring or you don’t get results. Let me tell you it might be the opposite of what you like but I guess that taught me how to mentally deal with things I don’t like. When I’m moving through a practice and I’m being judgemental of myself, the lesson, my body I am now forced to listen and challenge those thoughts. Yoga (as well as meditation) help me stay on top of all the subconscious chatter that becomes conscious in the face of difficulty. I am now able to deal with my negative thoughts towards myself and others. Yoga helps peel back the layers of who I truly am and who I thought I was and maybe who I thought I should be. Sometimes we get to a point that we don’t even know what is superficial and what is us. But yoga shines a small bright light into those dark spaces and encourages us to open our heart spaces, get firmly grounded in the earth, be of a curious mind, move from our centre and hold what you believe is difficult, what you believe you can’t do and smile. Fall down (your mat has you), laugh about how amazing it is to be alive today and smile.