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At the start of this year, I decided I wanted to try yoga. My reasoning was nothing but shallow. I wanted to improve my flexibility and shed a few kilos, and that was it. What I didn't expect was the transformation it will have on my well-being. Here’s a list of all the lessons I learned from yoga that has seeped into my daily life.
LESSONS FROM YOGA
BREATHING IS LIFE!
If there's anything we take for granted in life, it is our breath. I am convinced that most of us don't know how to breathe, we don’t know how to utilize it properly to help us deal with everyday life. Taking in deep breaths helps with slowing down your heart rate and clearing your mind. Our breath is what we call life.
DON’T LISTEN TO THE COMPLAINTS OF THE MIND
As the poses continue to challenge you, panic sets in and you may want to give in. Your mind starts coming up with what will seem like better ideas than what you're currently doing, but don't give in. Continue to breathe, and this is how to overcome your mind. This how we overcome hurdles in life, by simply breathing in deep and surrender to life.
THERE’S MORE TO YOGA THAN THE INTRICATE POSES
Follow any Yogi on social media, and all you'll see is headstands in different variations which will quite frighten anyone interested in trying yoga. As much as those poses are necessary to challenge our bodies and remind us to breathe, taking out your mat and meditate for 15 minutes is equally significant! The intricate poses can be learned in time but inhaling in an out can be done right now. You are still doing yoga.
MARRYING YOUR BREATH TO MOVEMENT CREATES AWARENESS
When you start valuing your breath, you become increasingly aware of your daily habits. Even eating becomes an event, not just a means to an end. Your relationship with food becomes something you tend by knowing when and how much you can eat. Being aware in life is to live without trying to control anything.
THIS MOMENT IS ALL I HAVE
We as humans tend to live in the past or the future. We struggle to live in the now, or at least I did, but the minute I step on my mat I am forced to focus on my practice, the past has no place and future isn't allowed to take up space. This moment is all I have.
Something has changed in how I carry myself of late. The words I use to describe myself are scrutinized, I move my body with such softness and kindness, and that's something I never used to do.
I took being alive for granted, and I took the body that housed my soul/ spirit for 31 years for granted. I treated it with such contempt, never went a day without berating it for not being perfect, and constantly comparing it to others. And through all of that it continued to carry me, so how can I not be grateful? How can I not apologize?
As I sit comfortably on my mat and start deepening my breath, and then I realize the problems of yesterday have no place today. The worries of tomorrow have no place today. Letting go of it all and embracing right now as it is, is all that matters.
I have learned to surrender to my breath. I have learned to trust my body and its capabilities. I have learned to let go of anything that doesn't serve my peace. Being at peace, what a valuable thing it is, and it cost me nothing. How beautiful is that?
Yoga has asked of me to live more consciously, it asked of me to be more kind to myself and asked of me to value my breath. Yoga taught me what a blessing this life truly, I've always known that, but now I am living it.
The divine in me recognizes the divine in you.