Monday, 16 February 2015

What yoga has taught me over the past year

This month marks the one year anniversary that I earned my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) certificate. It was an exceptional year, to say the least. Aside from meeting wonderful people, sharing hundreds of hours of yoga, traveling the globe, and getting engaged to the most wonderful man who is a better partner in life than I could have ever dreamed of, I learned a few key points from the practice of yoga. Here are just a few:

Yoga needs to be a part of your life – not all of your life

I’m a very ambitious person and always have been. There are so many things I want to do and accomplish in life. Writing has always been my passion and now yoga is, too. I also work full time, have a house to take care of, a relationship to love and tend to…the list goes on. Not to mention I like to make people happy and have a hard time saying no.

Over the past year, I’ve learned that yoga should be a compliment to your life. You cannot neglect your practice, but you have to find balance between practicing the asanas (the movements) of yoga and caring for your family. Fit yoga into your regular routine, but don’t allow it be all-consuming.

It’s called a practice because it’s never finished

Your yoga practice is a work in progress. You have to be gentle with yourself, yet you have to be committed. Over the holiday season, I didn’t practice for about a month and I felt the consequences. I was stressed out and tired, and when I finally got back to my mat I could tell that I was physically weaker. While you need balance in your life, you have to set some time aside on a daily basis to practice the asanas of yoga. There will always be room to grow and more to learn.

You are perfect just the way you are

This was – and still is – a hard one for me. Like most people, I’ve always picked myself apart and never felt like I was enough. But I’ve learned that yoga doesn’t care what you look like. It doesn’t care what you wear or what you eat. All that matters is that you show up and practice – on and off the mat. And I’ve been working on taking this to heart. Yes, I can have goals and want to work towards things. But just because I can’t hold a handstand without the wall doesn’t make me any less of a person or practitioner than someone who can. And just because my car isn’t new or my house isn’t as big doesn’t make me less of a person either. I am enough.

It’s never too late

Since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to be an author. At the age of 29, I started a personal blog (this one!). And guess what else? I got published! I am now a published author. There were points in my life when I didn’t think the day would ever come. But now at the age of 30, I am finally acting out on my dreams and passions. I’m excited about the unknown and what the future will hold. It’s never too late to start.

I’ve said this before and I hope I get to say it again: This has been the best year of my life.

This photo was taken a year ago, by my best friend Chelsea. 
I wanted the photos to be taken as a gift to me, from me, for completing my 200 YTT.
They were also a gift  from Chelsea, to me, because she's a great, thoughtful and generous person.