September 9, 2011 - 2:18pm
Admittedly, I am new to the yoga scene, having practiced on and off for the last 6 months while training for a marathon. I used yoga a supplement to my workout routine. However, recently - I have really started to embrace the teachings from my yoga instructor at each practice. I'm not sure if it's because I have been out-of-practice for a few months, and it was frustrating to start from square 1 again - not being able to hold the poses or stretch to the lengths I was at before, or if I finally woke up and realized, there really IS something to this! Whatever the reason, it doesn't matter - what matters now, is yoga is no longer just an addition to my routine, but it's an integral part of my routine, my day, and my life.
Let's start with just a few lessons (which can be applied to life as well):
1) Yoga is humbling. Everyday you come to the mat for your practice is a new day, your body feels different, so your practice is going to be different. Just because you held your pose and balanced properly yesterday does NOT ensure the same results today. It's a good mix of pushing your body, but also really listening to it. You can't force yoga. No matter how great of shape you are in, yoga will make it painfully aware of just how in-control (or not) of you body you are.
2) It doesn't matter what everyone else in the room is doing - focus on YOURself and YOUR practice. When you learn to tune everyone else out, and focus on your body and your technique - it becomes easier. It is easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others in the room - but that simply doesn't matter. Yoga is all about self-realization. Listen to your body - focus on yourself. Eliminate the distractions.
3) Acceptance - no where in any other sport/activity, have I felt the genuine acceptance of everyone. People don't care if you are thin, fat, tall, short, ugly, pretty - it doesn't matter. Everyone is accepting of everyone else in the room, and can truly be yourself and let go of inhibitions and have a truly great practice. There is a great energy that inspires people in the yoga room - not words, not looks... but energy. It's refreshing.
More to come soon. Have any other additions to add to this list?