Happy 1st December everybody! My mission of the day is to seek out my first mince pie of the season…
Anywho, today’s post was scheduled to be another travel one, but instead I find myself wanting to talk more about another subject close to my heart – yoga!
Although I’ve been, let’s call it “doing” yoga, for many years, I didn’t start truly “practicing” yoga until September. Before my yoga-revelation whilst on holiday in Bali, I mainly did yoga after running, typing “10 minute yoga stretch for runners” into YouTube – I cringe now at the thought! But I suppose it served me for what I needed then, as it does now in a completely different way!
Here are a few huge lessons I’ve learned in my incredibly brief yoga journey thus far!
1. I’m stronger than I think
There aren’t many feels greater than nailing an asana for the first time, especially when you’ve just watched the teacher demonstrate and spent the whole time thinking “how the hell’s bells are they doing that?!?” But then you pop your knees on the backs of your arms, lean forward, your feet lift off the floor and all of a sudden you find yourself flying into crow/bakasana. It’s magical, and every time I progress even the slightest bit I feel a sense of self-belief and empowerment. Headstands?! The first time I ever tried one I thought I’d never get there on my own…!
2. My body is SO much more than an object to be looked at
To some it may sound obvious, but to someone who has struggled with self-image as long as they can remember, it is very powerful. Yoga has taught me to respect my body, to nourish it and to allow it to rest when needed. My body amazes me every day by what it can do both on and off the mat and I’m finally learning to appreciate its true value and not worry unnecessarily about the size label on a dress or the number on the scales.
3. It’s not just about the asanas
Speaking of taking things off the mat, yoga goes far deeper than bending your body around for an hour before carrying on with your day. As well as the physical benefits, yoga has taught me patience, respect, tolerance, kindness and a plethora of other things which can be carried out of the practice and into my daily life. Coupled with meditation I’ve found my whole perspective on a lot of things has totally shifted, and it’s a great place to be in.
4. Ok so the asanas are fun…
Sure there’s this whole deep, spiritual side of yoga which I absolutely adore and has completely changed my life, but, it’s also really bloody good fun! Like I said earlier, the feeling you have when you nail a new asana is awesome. You get to leave your comfort zone and push yourself to try things you thought impossible, plus there’s always something new to learn and be working towards!
5. Leave your ego at the door
Yoga means “unity” and I feel this can be applied to many things, for me it’s the unity of my mind and body, creating a sense of peace that I’d never felt before. It’s also the unity within the yoga community. Everyone is welcome, anyone who can breathe can do yoga, and no-one is made to feel bad if they’re having difficulties. If I fall out of a pose or can’t do something, I just laugh it off. It doesn’t matter at all. Yoga is a journey, life is a journey. If we were all good at everything straight away, life would be boring right?!
So that’s what I’ve learned so far through my yoga practice. I hope it maybe inspires some of you to head to a class, or even find one online!
Have you ever practiced yoga before?