The Life Lessons of Yoga

Last week I looked at how those endless to do lists can be stressful and ideas to help you to slow down. This week I thought we’d look at what yoga can do for you. We talk in class about the physical benefits but what else can yoga help you with? What can yoga teach you?

Lesson 1: Go with the flow

Things rarely work out as planned, so throw caution to the wind, ride the wave of life and see where it takes you. If you’re used to doing yoga with music, ditch the iPod and do yoga without music. You may find it’s a great test of being focused on the breath and the asana.

Lesson 2: Repetition can be good

There is comfort in familiarity. We always feel at home in the poses we do the most. It gives us a chance to just be. One of my favorite quotes is “Practice makes permanent” – I can’t remember where I heard it, but it’s true for yoga and for life. If you want to do something well, you must practice. You can learn a lot about yourself through repetition.

Lesson 3: Balance and focus are necessary to move forward successfully in your life

The things you are most successful at are the things that you devote your full attention to. It is also good to remember to do all things in moderation. Balance is necessary to develop your life skills.

Lesson 4: Nothing is forever so focus on the now

When you are in that uncomfortable hip opening pose, just breathe into the discomfort and learn to embrace it. Life is full of uncomfortable situations and you should be able dive into them head on. Just remember it’s not forever, it’s just for now and this too shall pass.

Lesson 5: You are important so take the time to nurture your body and your soul

Do what you love to and practice with all your heart.

Lesson 6: You always have choices

You won’t always like the choices life presents you with. Thankfully when it comes to yoga, you always have the choice to go for Child’s Pose when the struggle to hold a pose gets too much.

Lesson 7: There is comfort in community

We are all in this together. You’re not the only one who keeps falling out of Side Plank the first few times you do it. You are not, and never will be, alone.

Lesson 8: Be the architect of your own practice

Do what feels best and feels right in your body. This is the same for your life. You are the CEO of your life so live it the best way you can. Let go of that which doesn’t serve you and embrace that which does.

Lesson 9: Don’t take yourself so seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself. Nobody is perfect and even the best fall down sometimes (literally). What makes all the difference is how you deal with this, and humour and laughter is one of the best paths there is.

Lesson 10: Failure is good

You learn the most about your life from the things you fail at. I dare you to name one person you know that always gets everything right the first time. No one? That’s what I thought. Embrace all that you are, it makes for a much more interesting experience.

What lesson have you learned from the mat?