Sunday, October 28, 2012
Life Lessons From Yoga
I used to hate yoga. I thought it was a bunch of breathing and stretching and I didn't ever feel challenged. Now, I've been practicing yoga pretty steadily, about twice a week, since January. With everything comes the right teacher. I now know enough yoga to manage my own one hour practice and have found a few teachers that I enjoy practicing with. I have even considered becoming certified to teach myself! Now that is a 180.
The type of yoga I practice is called vinyasa and it is great for us Type A personalities and former athletes. I've seen changes in my body and in my flexibility. There are many benefits to a regular yoga practice and I've learned a lot of personal lessons through yoga. I'll use learning to do the handstand as a metaphor/example.
Handstands and other inversions (headstand, forearm balance, scorpion, etc.) are a lot harder than they look- if they should look easy to anyone, lol. As a kid they're fun and easy to do because you have that fearless childhood innocence. I'm sure many of us remember doing them as a young child. But as we get older, fear and the fear of failure start to takeover.
1.) Learning To Let Go
As a Type A personality we learn things and make decisions quickly. We know what we want. We're competitive and often fearless. We get things done and we usually want things "right now." But I can also be very patient. I wanted to learn to do a handstand so bad! As with everything else in life where I wanted to learn or accomplish I set out to read as much as I could, I practiced, and I absorbed all of the tips and advice that my teachers gave me. And it worked; BUT, I didn't make any breakthroughs until I learned to let go! Once I let go of the idea that I had to be perfect, that I had to do every pose perfectly, that I had to stick my handstand every time, is when I started to make progress. It was then that I was able to really enjoy my practice, make improvements, and develop more consistency.
We've all heard of visioning and making vision boards or the like to help us see the life we want to live. In the past I have made vision boards and practiced "visioning" but it didn't really click until I started practicing yoga...and trying to do my handstand. What I started doing was visioning myself in my mind's eye doing my handstand. I knew the prep, the movement, what muscle groups needed to be engaged, and how it should end so I watched myself and my body working through the pose. It worked, it helped me develop more consistency.
This isn't just about yoga, all of this can be applied to life and your relationships. Are there old ideas and mindsets you have that would better serve you discarded? Do you feel the need to be in control of everything? Let it go. Can you really see how you'd like to see your life play out? Maybe try thinking 3-5 years out. I know for me thinking 15 - 20 years out can fell overwhelming and make me want to give up, so maybe start with 3 or 5 years and take it from there.