Life Lessons We Learn on the Yoga Mat

The first thing coming to mind with yoga is flexibility. It’s what we gain in time. But yoga teaches us something deeper.

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Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash

What I will share with you seems to be happening only on the mat.

But it’s a reflection of how we go in our life. What we do on our mat is just a starting point of our transformation.

Everybody is Unique

The most common thing I hear from people is “I’m not that flexible. I can’t do yoga.”

I don’t blame you if you think so. The image of yoga has been very surreal because of the photos that yoga practitioners share on social media. People post photos that they do very advanced yoga poses and these photos look very aesthetic. But these photos intimidate people and discourage them to go to a class and be vulnerable about their bodies in front of others.

Well, are we not going to post photos because they intimidate others?

No. We’ll of course post about our lives and what we do if it makes us happy. If we’re influenced by other people’s photos what we can do is to learn not to compare our bodies with others.

Because nobody starts their yoga journey doing a full split on the first day unless they have a background at aerobics or dance.

Love your body as it is. Give yourself time to get better at what you want to achieve on the yoga mat.

Comparison is a poison to what we want to do in life. Either on or off the mat.

To encourage you, even more, I have a regular yoga practice of 3 years and I can’t do the full lotus pose. Nope. My knees don’t allow me to go there.

But I have a friend who has done no yoga or sports in her entire life and she can just hold the same pose with no issues.

Everybody is unique on their own. Take this lesson with you off the mat too and see what changes in the way you see your life.

Photo by Karthik Thoguluva on Unsplash

Be Patient

Waiting, waiting,…

It’s probably the hardest thing we have to do in life and it’s not a different feeling on the yoga mat.

We want to do all the fancy yoga poses and not get stuck in the basic elements of yoga. It’s great if we aim to get better in our yoga practice. But be careful not to compare your journey with others.

Patience is the key to yoga practice. The pose will come to you if you allow time to bring you there while you keep a regular practice.

As a baby can’t run before walking, we can’t do advanced yoga poses before we master the foundations of yoga. Even if we do, it won’t have the best alignment.

Consider this basic lesson in your life. What happened when you pushed something to happen? You most likely got tired, or it didn’t happen at all because as you put so much effort, it went away.

But when we trust and learn to wait, whatever we want comes to us in its perfect timing.

Connection with the Mind and Body

The reason I started doing yoga was to find a connection with like-minded people at a time of change in my life.

What I found the connection was with myself.

But why is yoga so healing for the mind and body?

The answer is simple. Yoga connects our body and mind through breathwork. We take a breath in and out with each movement.

We do this when we work out too. But it’s a different experience. We run in our minds when we do sports. There is a point where we want to reach and usually, mindfulness isn’t very present during a workout. We consider our to-do list, what to do next during an exercise most of the time.

But yoga teaches us to slow down our minds, take a breath, and be aware of our bodies. We move with full consciousness.

It requires us to be in the present moment. Otherwise, we lose focus and therefore balance.

Just like in life. When we have the connection between our bodies and minds, we become fully present in the moment. We enjoy what we do. Worries disappear because the only moment that exists is now.

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Photo by Johnson Wang on Unsplash

Take these lessons with you.

If you do yoga, consider how yoga helped you on your mat, and if you can carry them to your daily life.

If you’re not a yoga practitioner, break the bridge between your excuses and the yoga practice. It’s only you that keeps you away from all the good things that yoga can teach you.

And if you’re still not into yoga, find out your yoga. Cook, dance, bake, hike. Do whatever awakens the real you.

Certified Yoga and Meditation Teacher. Freelance writer whose passion is to empower others through mindfulness. IG: @begumerol_

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