At the beginning of the year, I embarked on a 30-day yoga challenge entitled Dedicate and hosted by Yoga With Adriene. Well, I stuck to it and I completed every single downward dog and even those moves that tested my patience balance and flexibility. It was just supposed to be yoga but it turned out to be a total mind-body experience. I felt stronger and more balanced than I have in a very long time.
It is not about mastering the pose as Adriene says it is about finding what feels good. Isn’t that what life is about? The ups and downs the trials and errors. Ultimately we go through everything to get to a place that feels like home and live a life that we love. Here are three life lessons or realizations I had during my 30 days of yoga.
DON’T FORCE – FLOW
We all have had things that we plan, pour all of our efforts into and despite our best attempt at perfection, life happens and it basically goes in whatever direction it wants to. I have had moments where I have tried to nail a pose and fall flat on my ass. The obvious reaction would be to get pissed but all I did was laugh it off and go again. Simply put, you are supposed to get back up. Your pose is not supposed to look like your partner, your neighbors or Sally down the street. Just because you fall it does not make you a failure. It makes no sense trying to accomplish anything by force. If something is not working adjust to accommodate the pose (circumstance). It is useless to fight the flow and end up hurting yourself in the process. If anything yoga teaches you perseverance and the value of knowing what fits you. Do not fear looking awkward or be scared to do it your own way. Your life =your unique flow.
Life is about experiencing joy. DISCOVER WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD
It seems pretty convenient for us to dwell on the mishaps and the fuck-ups and the what could have been. Often times we cling to places or people that we have outgrown. We repeatedly keep trying things that we know deep down have absolutely no benefit to our mind, bodies or souls. Do you want to go through life being sad sack Susie or amazing Amanda? You know the type of person who is willing to put in the work and make your life better and discover what makes you absolutely tingle with delight. We can berate ourselves, belittle our efforts and become our own worst enemy or worse yet work and give until we are at the brink of exhaustion or burnout. Yoga has reinforced the importance of not putting myself in positions that are detrimental to my well being, and even if you do there is always a way back to recovery. We really should focus on and revel in the things that make us feel sweet. The things that make us feel beautiful and worthy and bubbly. You know those things that give you that extra oomph even on the days when you feel more like a dud and less like a goddess. It does not have to be anything grandiose. We tend to get caught up in doing the awe-inspiring social media worthy stuff we lose sight of how the simplest of things can ignite bliss. Finding what feels good is knowing that even when things are difficult and chaotic you can discover ways to center yourself and realize that whatever you are experiencing is just temporary. Look for ways to as the song says to accentuate the positive. ( tell me you didn’t just break out into song reading that, I did 🙂 ) There are days when you will feel defeated, frustrated and downright disgusted but know this, you do not have to dwell there.
Don’t forget to BREATHE.
Taking a breath is such a blessing. It means we are alive, yet so often we take these limited breaths we have been given for granted. In yoga, as in life, we need our breath to guide us through those difficult moments. Those of us who suffer from anxiety can attest to how just simply breathing can make a significant difference between going from a place of nervousness to calm. Don’t get bogged down by the overwhelm of to-do lists and the ridiculous and impossible pressure of having to get everything right. Take time for yourself, take time to breathe, to make space. Breathe, release and let go of the tension. Do it one time, do it several times just do whatever it takes to get you to a place of serenity.