Admittedly, for about seven years now, I’ve followed Yoga With Adriene‘s YouTube videos. And ever since then, I’ve taken away life-changing lessons from my home practices with her.
1. Being a student of life
Notably, coming to my yoga mat can feel like coming to a classroom (not the kind you dread). Because I leave not only feeling like I’ve exercised, but also that I’ve learned something. Moreover, it reminds me that learning can take place anywhere, not just behind a desk in a classroom. Therefore, everything is teaching if you are listening.
The lone flower,
The child’s laughter,
The nature of water –
They are my teachers.Jennifer Healey
2. Come As You Are
Commonly, we tend to wait for ‘perfect‘. Such as the perfect circumstances, perfect timing, perfect us, before taking action. Sadly we miss out on a lot of life opportunities. Perfect doesn’t exist. All that matters is that you show up as you are for the things you want and love consistently and the universe will take care of the rest for you.
3. Coming Back To The Beginners Mind
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”Shunryu Suzuki in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Actually, beginner’s mind is a concept from Zen Buddhism called Shoshin. Fundamentally, it’s having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when faced with any situation.
For instance, if you find yourself hitting a wall, falling back on the basics of how to go about something is a great foundation to start on. Instead of trying to seem like you have it all figured out, asking questions and guidance will help you learn and eventually master a task.
4. Consistency Is Key
Generally, consistency in your efforts leads to self-discipline, teaches you self-control and builds momentum. Accordingly, on the yoga mat, consistency is crucial to increase strength, flexibility and master effortless execution of poses and sequences. Similarly, in life, consistency is important in order to master and succeed in whatever you’re pursuing. Or, at least, it leads to increased momentum towards your goals.
5. Self Compassion
Inhale lots of love in… exhale lots of love out.Adriene Mishler’s yoga mantra
In addition to the above mantra, taking deep breaths helps me get to a place of self compassion. Self compassion steps in just when self-esteem deserts us. And it helps us embrace ourselves as we are, flaws and all.
Also, our inner conversations with ourselves tend to be unnecessarily and overly negative and self-critical. That’s why adopting self-compassion can help us avoid the traps of self-limitations or destructive thought processes. Remember to lean towards compassion with the words you speak to yourself.
6. Improved Relationships
Admittedly, one of the main reasons I took up yoga was to help improve my relationships. Especially my relationship with myself. They say you can’t pour from an empty cup, right? For this reason, yoga sessions serve as my time to fill my cup.
Significantly, yoga and its meditations can help us accept ourselves and people as they are rather than try to change them. Furthermore, it promotes observance and understanding over defensiveness. Therefore helping us better approach criticism and disagreements in all our relationships.
As we can see, the lessons yoga provides are endless. And the best part is that you can take them with you off the mat and use them in your day to day life too.