I don’t believe I have written much about yoga here before. I am not currently teaching, which I have found has left me with more time and mental space for my own practice. Since my introduction to yoga, circa 2010, I have been fairly sporadic in my practice. I’ll admit, consistency is something I have always struggled with and I have recently been working hard on improving that.
Wish me luck!
If you are a yogi you know that absurd struggle a lot of us have with our practice. It’s like pushing a child to eat vegetables: it may not be as tasty as ice cream but dang you’ll feel good afterwards. Actually, that metaphor is quite realistic in my life. I am often deciding between ice cream or yoga.
Yoga has a long, beautiful history which you should look up on Wikipedia.
What I will tell you is that before yoga came into my life I had anxiety, zero upper body strength and minimal self-awareness. I have always been flexible, but if you aren’t I would encourage to try yoga! Not being flexible is almost a benefit because once you are in a pose, you will FEEL it.
Alas, I digress. The point here is to illustrate some things I have learned. I hope this doesn’t come off as preachy, that is really not my intention. I struggle with staying positive and calm all the time, hence the necessity of yoga! So, something things I have learned:
Choosing to dislike something is useless.
There are plenty of yoga poses I greatly dislike. Each time one comes up in class, it pisses me off. This is useless and I’m working on it. This goes for plenty of other scenarios, too. Having those solid barriers against fairly harmless things is silly.
Breath is a powerful tool.
I still suffer from anxiety, but I now have the tools to help myself. It has taken me years to figure this out. Yoga has been proven to help with all kinds of things like depression, for example.
Most things are best when in balance.
In a yoga pose, one is always extending and contracting at the same time. In a squat today, I was simultaneously tucking my tailbone and lengthening my inner thigh. Fun, huh?
Finding this sweet spot is what life is about!
Self-knowledge is invaluable.
Before I practiced yoga there were a lot of things about myself I would ignore. Yoga forces you to deal with your crap. This is why there is that internal struggle associated with yoga. Stress leads me to want to eat or drink something delicious and just veg out. I often take this route and enjoy it immensely. But when I choose yoga, the benefits of that last much longer.
This knowledge also applies to the body. Having the ability to name where that ache is coming from and how you can relieve that pain or strengthen that spot is pretty cool.
Hopefully, as my yoga journey continues I will have more to add to this list!