1.) To try new things. The experiences you encounter on the mat can lead to a renewed sense of spirit to try things you would not originally attempt. I’ve always been a pretty adventurous gal, but yoga has taught me to be fearless. I enjoy new activities and visiting new places, but yoga also gave me the courage to change the things in my life that were not bringing me joy. I’ve since made some big life changes that I never thought I’d have the courage or power to make, but I’m here now and I’m happy.
2.) It is imperative to evaluate how you are taking care of yourself. After all, your body is a temple and your heart and mind are your most important muscles. Be mindful about how you are treating yourself. Work to nurture and love yourself. This includes eating healthy, hydrating, sleeping, lowering your stress levels and practicing the kindness to always take care of youself.
3.) Patience. Before yoga I had very little patience. I was all go, go, go. But the physical asanas have taught me that patience comes with attention and time. You are not going to accomplish a difficult asana in a day, but it will come with understanding. This philosophy has carried over into my everyday life.
4.) Sometimes you have to loosen your grip and go with the flow a little more. Oh man. Admittedly, I can be a pretty intense person when I set my mind to something. While this is a good trait to have within reason, sometimes you need to just embrace life and let things fall into place the way they are supposed to. I took the square peg round hole approach and often chiseled the wood until I pushed its way through the surface. I now try to experience the full journey. I’ve learned that I don’t need to do everything immediately or do everything perfectly. I can take my time, move a little less forcefully and trust that life has a plan.
5.) It is ok to take a break. There will be times in your life when you just need to sit back and breathe for a moment. That is perfectly acceptable. Taking a moment to pause is healthy and necessary whether you are on or off your mat.
6.) Embracing your kula or community creates a foundation for your life, leads to open doors and love. I have met the most amazing people through yoga. People I feel so lucky to call friends. They are my first calls when times are challenging and they continue to teach me how to open my heart in new ways.
7.) Just breathe. Breathing is your life force. This might sound silly, but I was not good at breathing before I embraced yoga. Whether participating in athletics or simply stressed – I would hold my breath and tension in. Now I understand that it is necessary to breathe. I try to take deep breaths when overwhelmed and somehow a little air can make all the difference.
8.) Sometimes if you just think you can do something – that’s half the battle. The saying is true, “If you tell yourself you can’t do something then you won’t.” Intention comes with positivity. Do not beat yourself up for the things you cannot do today. Instead imagine what it will look like when you meet your goals. Good actions follow good thoughts.
9.) Life comes in waves. Trust that it will always change. Savor the good moments and acknowledge that the bad moments will not last forever.
10.) To be honest with myself. It is important to accept that your mind and body changes day-to-day and moment-to-moment. Sometimes what you want is different from what you need and vice versa. Only you can decide what you need at the time and knowing yourself is the best gift you can give.
11.) I have so much more to learn. That’s what makes yoga wonderful – you can truly learn forever. Yoga is the study of yourself and who doesn’t have more to learn? 🙂 I have endless gratitude for these lessons and all the future lessons yoga and life will continue to teach me.