Today, when I was teaching my yoga class, a theme just came to me. I was inspired by the idea “what can yoga do for you.”
Generally when I’m teaching a class, I create my theme prior to my class; today the universe was my guide. I was in the moment and was motivated by the asana itself, especially since my iPod was not working. I was forced to not rely on my music for inspiration, but on the poses to bring inspiration to the class. The theme of my class was “the life lessons of yoga.”
What did each asana offer me on and off the mat?
Lesson 1: Go With The Flow
Things rarely work out as planned, so throw caution to the wind, ride the wave of life and see where it takes you. If you're used to doing yoga with music, ditch the iPod and do yoga without music. You may find it's a great test of being focused on the breath and the asana.
Lesson 2: Repetition Can Be Good
There is comfort in familiarity. We always feel at home in the poses we do the most. It gives us a chance to just be. One of my favorite quotes is ‘Practice makes permanent” – I can’t remember where I heard it, but it’s true for yoga and for life. If you want to do something well, you must practice. You can learn a lot about yourself through repetition.
Lesson 3: Balance And Focus Are Necessary To Move Forward Successfully In Your Life
The things you are most successful at are the things that you devote your full attention to. It is also good to remember that you must do all things in moderation, balance is necessary to develop your life skills.
Lesson 4: Nothing Is Forever, So Focus On The Now
When you are in that uncomfortable hip opening pose, just breathe into the discomfort and learn to embrace it. Life is full of uncomfortable situations and you should be able dive into them head on. Just remember it’s not forever, it’s just for now and this too shall pass.
Lesson 5: You Are Important, So Take The Time To Nurture Your Body And Your Soul
Do what you love to and practice with all your heart.
Lesson 6: You Always Have Choices
You won't always like the choices life presents you with. Thankfully when it comes to yoga, you always have the choice to go for Child’s Pose when the struggle to hold a pose or embrace discomfort gets too much.
Lesson 7: There Is Comfort In Community
We are all in this together. You're not the only one who keeps falling out of Side Plank the first few times you do it. You are not, and never will be, alone.
Lesson 8: Be The Architect Of Your Own Practice
Do what feels best and feels right in your body. This is the same for your life. You are the CEO of your life so live it the best way you can. Let go of that which doesn’t serve you and embrace that which does.
Lesson 9: Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously
Learn to laugh at yourself. Nobody's perfect and even the best fall down sometimes (literally). What makes all the difference is how you deal with this, and humor and laughter is one of the best paths there is.
Lesson 10: Failure Is Good
You learn the most about your life from the things you fail at. I dare you to name one person you know that always gets everything right the first time. No one? That's what I thought. Embrace all that you are, it makes for a much more interesting experience.
What lesson have you learned from the mat?