Everything that yoga has taught me comes with practice – which is why they actually call it yoga practice. (You’re probably going, “huh!” right about now). Every time I go into the studio is different, and I’ve learned quite a lot the past couple years of consistently doing it. If you’ve ever sworn off yoga, or not sure where to begin, learn a little about what it’s taught me below before jumping to any conclusions!
You Don’t Have To Be A “Yogi” to like Yoga
This is number one thing I hear from people that tell me that they hate yoga, and I’m sorry to tell you that it’s completely and utterly false. You heard me.
You don’t want to wear Alo or Lululemon to your yoga class? You don’t have to. You don’t want to chant “ohm” with the rest of class? You don’t have to. You don’t want the yoga teacher to correct your form (even though you should, because squaring your hips off is super important…)? You don’t have to. Don’t pay attention to what that chick beside you is doing on their mat. Your yoga practice is a time to focus on you.
The Noise Is Just Noise
Being in New York everyone is rushing to get everywhere. A teacher recently said, “You were rushing to get here – now that you’re here the rushing stops.” While I’ve always physically been in a hurry, my mind runs just as fast (if not faster).
Meditating can be difficult if you’re pretty squirmy like me; but once you quite literally ignore the noise and listen to your thoughts you’ll start to get there. Yes, meditation is technically supposed to be a state of thoughtlessness and one that of mindfulness, but tuning into yourself should be number one.
You Don’t Suck | Perfection Doesn’t Exist
Who gave us this really messed up ideal of perfection? Don’t answer that, I’ll google later…
Some days I can’t focus, some days my hips just don’t want to open up, and other days I quite literally fall over. I’m not as nimble as I once was at 16, and ya know what, I still can’t do a headstand or a crow pose most days. I know that crazy poses come with time. But I never define any of this as bad. To me a good day is when I can stay balanced and feel comfortable trying a difficult pose, but I don’t let my entire hour’s practice become defined once I fail. Which leads us to…
Listen to your body
Just don’t push it. Pain is NOT gain.
It’s Okay to Laugh At Yourself
You’re going to fall. Period. And it’s going to be embarrassing or whatever, but it’s also going to be hilarious (maybe).
You Have Something to Be Proud Of
You did a handstand without the wall for the first time today? You have something to be proud of. You came to class and did a child’s pose the entire time? That’s okay, you have something to be proud of. You know what, you have something to be proud of because you showed up and you did the best you could do that day. Yoga is fucking hard, guys, okay?
I’d love to hear from you now! What has yoga taught you? What do you like (or hate) about yoga?