It’s been a while since I have reminded you about the reasons why you should do yoga but today’s article is more about things you should know about doing yoga. Sometimes we just need a little bit of a reminder. Here is some information I read in an article in SELF magazine recently that really makes a lot of sense so I feel it is my duty to share it with my readers. You’re welcome :)!
1. It’s called “practice” for a reason.
There is no end game in yoga. No big race day or event you’re training for. “It is a constant work in progress, and you can almost always take a pose further or make it more challenging.” The key to learning yoga and progressing in your journey is through consistent practice. Practice, practice, practice.
“Getting bendy is certainly one of the benefits of adapting a regular yoga practice, but a common misconception is that you have to be flexible just to show up, or to practice at all.” That is so far from the truth!! You don’t have to be anything to do yoga (except willing and open-minded). Yoga is for everybody and every body.
For a very long time, I taught my classes without the use of props. I thought it would be easier to just explain the poses to students until I realized that sometimes, props are necessary for certain bodies to actually feel what they need to feel in a pose. The funny thing is that the more “advanced” students seem to think they don’t need props and I was guilty of that before I truly learned the benefits of using them. Realizing that using props—like putting your bottom hand on a block instead of straining to reach the floor during Triangle Pose or Half Moon—could help deepen the pose. And it feels way better, especially on those days when everything just feels extra tight.
It’s YOUR yoga practice. Not your teacher’s, not your friend’s or the person whose mat is laying up next to yours. In most yoga classes, you’ll be moving, flowing or in a pose from start to finish. Don’t wait for the teacher to tell you to drink water or come into Child’s Pose (I know because I am guilty of forgetting to remind my students). When you feel like taking a break or sipping some water, go ahead and do it. No one should bite your head off for doing it either ;).
But being willing to fall down is a huge part of yoga. It means you really went for something—something daring and maybe outside of your comfort zone. Ever heard the saying “You haven’t succeeded unless you’ve failed?” “Yoga is as much mental as it is physical, and there’s a constant element of play. Falling out of a pose in yoga, is not failing. It’s learning.”
It’s taken me years to continuously tell myself to stop worrying about things I can’t control. It’s definitely still a work in progress but yoga has definitely taught me to be more kind and patient, and to accept the world the way it shows up for me. Sometimes you have a bad run, a bad race, a bad yoga practice—that’s life. And that’s OK. Instead of wasting energy on things I can’t change or redo, I’ve learned to redirect my focus toward what’s possible. You can’t change the past or predict the future so why waste time worrying about it? The only thing you have any power over is the NOW so make the best of it.
There are many styles of yoga available, and while some are intended to be more restorative than others, none of them involve just sitting there with your legs crossed and eyes closed chanting “OM”. There are high planks, low planks, deep lunges, backbends and tricky inversions. So the next time you think about bypassing your local studio because you’re “in the mood for a hard workout,” I challenge you to go inside. I challenge you to take one of my strength or detox yoga classes. I can guarantee you won’t come out dry and that won’t be because of the heat in the room.
“I hate doing yoga”…said no one ever!! “Yoga is an amazing workout that will help boost your performance, mood and health. It’s great as cross training and is amazing at clearing your mind. But, you might also fall out of love with yoga at times as well. That’s cool, too. Yoga is a growing, moving, changing practice.” Some days you love it and can’t wait to get on your mat, and other days, not so much. As long as you learn to take day by day and not try to put labels on anything, your love will grow, and so too will your yoga practice.
Hope to see you on your mat!
Until next time,
Have a fit and fabulous day!
Lifestyle Coach & Yoga Instructor