Life Lessons from Yoga

I went back to my yoga class today after a 3 week break. OUCH! My body was screaming at me the majority of the time and I spent at least half the class, in my head, kicking my own ass for missing so many weeks and feeling so sore! How does it all go away so quickly? (If only body fat went away as quickly!!) So while I felt every muscle in my body shake and tremble at one point or the other, and in the midst of me cursing myself, it occurred to me how far I had come before my little hiatus.

I love my yoga instructor. She is patient, calm, gives alternates if someone (ME!) can’t do a pose and lets us go into childs pose when she hears me breathing a little TOO hard! And as much as I love everything about our class, I really love the end. No, not because it’s over! As we are all laying in Corpse Pose, she tells us a little story to take with us. To motivate us. As she does this, she goes to each one of us, as we’re lying there still and focusing on our breathing, and she straightens our legs, she pushes on our shoulders, she straightens my head and neck so we are completely aligned. It takes her only a few seconds, but I swear, when she’s doing that it’s heaven! I feel things pop or relax even more and it’s so wonderful! She has a magic touch for sure!

But I thought it was especially insightful today as she spoke of perseverance and how it’s sticking with it, and building upon the seemingly small things we learn and use to build upon newer things. And before you know it, you have made tremendous progress, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. How many of feel that doing anything new? I know I do! I feel like that all the time! When we decided to take up running last year, I was slow. I walked a LOT! I would lose weight, but only a pound or two. Nothing seemed to be happening. I didn’t feel like I was making any real progress, Michael was running way faster and longer than I was and he started after me!!! How fair is that??? But when winter came and that bone crushing chill got in my bones and I stopped running, I looked back and realized how far we really did progress! I had lost over 35 pounds! I felt stronger, and most importantly I realized that each of those 3 miles loops I did was better than sitting on the couch not doing ANY loops at all!

My yoga practice is the same. I had never ever ever taken yoga before. Remember me = NOT flexible. But after my first class back I realize how far I did come in those few months because I felt every inch of being sore! And I think it’s weird for me to actually say this but it’s the cliché of a “good sore”. It’s about sticking with it, and making that small incremental progress that we can’t see until we look back and see the starting line. And THAT is a wonderful feeling!!

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