Living Yoga

I’ve been yoga-ing almost daily!

And I feel great from it!

One of the aspects of yoga that I connect with most deeply is the concept that what happens on the mat is training for life.

The yoga mat is a place I can experience my reactions to situations and emotions, and hopefully, practice approaching life with a calm, grounded, outlook.

Does this sound too esoteric to you?

It’s not really.  Most yoga poses ask your body to find strength, balance, and flexibility all at once.

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Tell me a situation in life that doesn’t also demand a balance of these qualities?

If you figure out what poses come easily to you and which ones cause tension or anxiety you just may reveal how you live your life.

For me, my yoga practice has illustrated that I tend to avoid situations in life that make me feel incompetent.

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Take Navasana, or Boat Pose, for example.  My hip flexors in the front of my legs prevent me from extending my legs nice and straight like the lovely cartoon above.  I get self-conscious because as a Pilates teacher and dancer I feel like I should be able to perform this pose with utmost grace and length.  But I can’t.

Similarly, I avoid playing sports because I never played sports as a kid and feel unfamiliar with the rules of the field.  (I also don’t like competitive atmosphere’s, which may be one reason why I love to practice yoga alone.)

So what’s a girl to do?  Well, what I’ve learned from Navasana is that I don’t feel like I am missing out on life or in my practice if I don’t float my boat or score a goal.   The way that I learned this is from trying and trying again and finally deciding that at this time in my life I don’t need sport or Boat Pose.

Other times I’ve surprised myself by trying a pose that I usually avoid and then enjoying the experience and feeling successful through the process.

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Many yoga poses are helpful for keeping our egos in check, like the hidden challenges of a “simple” balance pose or trying a new pose for the first time.

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My yoga practice today is remaining calm and focused enough to write this post while a dozen beautiful in-laws swirl around me. 🙂

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