Stress and anxiety are my two biggest struggles in life. I began practicing yoga to learn how to calm down during difficult times. Today I’m sharing the 5 things I’ve learned about myself from practicing yoga.
In November when my sister asked me to attend a hot yoga class I tried to come up with a million reasons why I couldn’t go. The thought of holding a sweaty pose in a hot room was far from appealing. Plus, I was really nervous. My total lack of physical activity in the last five years is borderline embarrassing and possibly dangerous. Needless to say I put on my big girl pants and I WENT TO HOT YOGA.
It’s hard to find the words to express how I felt after my first hot yoga class. Pride. Exhaustion. Gratification. Fulfillment. Nearly bursting with pride for surviving a 60 minute power flow in a sweaty room. I felt so good I immediately signed up for a class pass.
5 Things I’ve Learned about Myself from Practicing Yoga
I am strong.
If you asked me six months ago to describe my level of physical strength I would laugh in your face. Weak has always been a word associated with my name, especially since I repeatedly failed the physical fitness test in gym class. Despite my dancing abilities, I’ve just never been strong.
I am strong, a fact learned from practicing hot yoga. I can do arm balances and a head stand and a yoga push up. I’m 34 years old and finally able to say I am strong.
I have trouble SLOWING DOWN.
It’s no wonder I can’t remember anything with the way I rush through everything. Yoga has shown me how much trouble I have slowing down and is a constant reminder I have to find happiness in a pause. The final pose of any yoga class is one of deep restoration: Corpse Pose “Savasana.” It’s the hardest pose because it requires complete relaxation – mind, body, and soul.
The first time I laid in Savasana was life-changing. It’s incredible what happens when you slow down, not just your movements and to do list, but also your breathing. In my every day life I try to incorporate a few minutes of meditation and slow rhythmic deep breathing to calm my nerves.
I am afraid of failure.
The first time my instructor told me to let go and balance on my arms I laughed. Let go? BUT WHAT IF I FALL?? In that moment I admitted something: I am more afraid of failure than I am of success.
If I live my life avoiding instances in which I might fail, I may miss a positive opportunity. We all have the potential for a successful outcome but fear drives us away from even trying.
I love yoga.
As a former dancer, my body quickly found a familiarity in the fluid movements of yoga. My heart is joyful knowing I have a new love for an activity I’ve avoided for years. In the past, my yoga experience was dull, boring, and unsatisfying. But this yoga, these hot yoga classes, are truly life changing.
I am content with my life.
Sometimes we spend too much personal time mentally listing the things we want and need. All of those items – whether they are tangible or intangible – are meaningless if we can’t be happy with what we already have. Yoga has taught me that I am content with my life.
So many people swear by Yoga I think it’s great that you are not a lover of it.
These are such beautiful life lessons and Im so glad you found an activity that works for you – mind & body!
I know exactly what you mean – Practicing yoga has been revelatory for me as well. Your poses look SO good!
I have only taken yoga once, but I do take barre and I feel as though I’ve learned the same things! It’s crazy what a good stretch sesh can do for you!
Stephanie Whitman says
I recently began attending yin yoga classes with my husband, and we LOVE IT. Not only has it strengthened us, but it’s centered us, and given us a safe space to rest in the midst of our busy lives. I’ve learned a lot of the same things you have, and I’m so grateful for it!
This post is inspiring me to get back to yoga! I used to do it all the time! I love all the things you’ve learned about yourself.
I absolutely love yoga as well. Definitely a game changer and Such a great way to meditate and learn new things about yourself!
cute & little
Sarah Lindner says
I’ve often heard yoga is more than a practice, it’s a way of life! After reading your post, it certainly seems so! xoxo, Sarah
Auntie M says
I too, love my yoga classes and can totally relate. My instructor has over 200 hours of instruction herself in teaching yoga. I value her so much. Yes, it does improve our lives in soooo many ways. I am glad you tried it. I have YIN tonight. Try it if you ever get the opportunity to attend a YIN class. It is totally different from other types of yoga.
you are doing a fabulous job with your poses!
I need to get back into yoga – I have only done it a few times but have loved it when I have done it
I am obsessed with yoga! It’s my favorite thing ever! Happy to hear that you enjoy it too. Also love all of these outfits!
I love this! Yoga has been such an important part of my adult life, and it’s the one place I can always come to to be ok with the world no matter what is happening.
We are the same age, and I havent worked out in forever. Like 10 years. I just regretted tyoing that. LOL. I need to find something. I have never tried yoga, obviously! I can still do a handstand. I dont know if that means I still have upper body strength or not? But you have made my mind wonder!?……….
Thank you for that, thexglitterbox
What wonderful revelations of yourself you’ve discovered through yoga! I too am sometimes afraid of failure but I make an effort to try arm balances every time I do yoga even though I might fall.
What an inspiring and positive post! I love how confident you are and how yoga makes you feel so good. Maybe I should try it more often! I seriously adore these leggings!
Wow, you look lovely and your photos are amazing! I love that Yoga has taught you so much about yourself. I need to give it a try!
Lisa | @occasionallyluxe