From the short time I’ve been going, I’ve listened to Tone’s instructions during our class and feel like I am also getting a lesson in life. So here are 5 life lessons that yoga has already taught this beginner.
1. “Remember to breath.” This sounds simple, but you’d be surprised! As we are doing different poses, Tone will remind us to breath and I realize I’m holding my breath. I’ve noticed I do that a lot. I hold my breath when I’m scared or angry or uncomfortable. I tend to get worked up over stuff. I’ve even been known to make mountains out of molehills. It’s something I’ve been working on. When this happens, I tell myself, “Remember to breath.” Is this going to matter in a year? A month? Even a day? Do you have any control over it? Is this personal, or just a fact of life? One deep breath gives you about 60 seconds to calm down. This is sometimes all you need to think clearly. So next time you start to feel that tension invade your body, remember to breath…or as our school nurse tells our students, “Smell the roses and blow out the candles!”
2. “When you start to feel uncomfortable, where does your mind go and how do you react?” Of course Tone is talking about yoga poses, but isn’t this relevant in our daily lives? It’s time to take an inventory of our defense mechanisms. What do you do when you are in an uncomfortable/stressful situation? Do you become defensive? Withdraw? Go into denial? Make a joke? Do you give up? I have done all of these things at one time or another. I do know that wherever my mind and thoughts go, my actions tend to follow. So start with your mind, because as Willie Nelson said, “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
3. “You are as strong as the foundation holding you up.” This could be interpreted in a number of ways, but it spoke to me like this. I constantly doubt my strength or give others credit for making me strong. Even though there may be others helping you or supporting you, true strength only comes from within and you are stronger than you believe all on your own!
4. “It’s not about the accomplishment, it’s about being accepting of where you’re at.” I love this one. I’m not trying to say that accomplishments are not important. We set goals on a daily basis. We want to win games, receive awards, finish projects, get raises, and lose that last 10 pounds. But sometimes (and I believe more times than not), it’s more about being ok with where you are in the moment. It’s ok to plan for the new dress and new attitude once you lose those 10 pounds, but it’s more important to accept yourself at every pound in between. I need to work on this one. I am an all or nothing kind of girl. If I can’t do it well, I’m just not going to do it. Something else for my “to work on” list!
5. “Relax. Trust that the foundation under you will hold you and the world won’t end because you took a few minutes to yourself.” Powerful. As important as we think we are, the world really won’t end if we do something for ourselves once in a while. As moms, I think we are especially guilty of this. We let guilt play mind games with us and we think the household can’t function without us. It can and it will. So take a few minutes to yourself…you deserve it. Because in the end, we all know, if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!