A dear friend of mind sent a lovely quote to me this week that seemed very timely, “the only time you should look back, is to see how far you’ve come“.
Now on a normal day I can be quite reflective. I am even more so today because it is my 26th birthday! So I have decided to reflect and share with you three things that yoga has taught me this past year.
1.My yoga practice isn’t something to fear, even if it is sometimes challenging, both mentally and physically.
When you get stuck in a mental funk (like I was for part of this year), yoga can seem like the enemy. Why would you want to spend an hour on the mat chewing on a problem when you can ignore it off the mat?
I get it. I really do.
I always seem to forget that my practice is where I often have my best mental breakthroughs and epiphanies. My most recent epiphany is that I can trust myself. I don’t know how long it would have taken me to get to that point if I hadn’t stepped on the mat and listened.
2. A studio is not the only place ‘real’ yoga can happen.
This year I moved from a big city where I lived almost next door to the studio where I practiced and taught to a rural town with no studios in site. I struggled with this for a really long time believing that I needed that concrete kind of space to practice and grow.
Thanks to this handy thing called the internet, I can practice with yogis in my living room that I would probably never get the chance to meet in real life. I have truly enjoyed experiencing different teachers and styles that have led to a strengthening of my body and my own personal practice.
3. Your first yoga tribe doesn’t have to be your last yoga tribe.
I felt a deep and profound loss when I left my studio, just ask any of my students who attended my last class (it was quite the water works display). And I’m not good at maintaining long distant connections, so I knew I would need to develop a new tribe somehow.
Enter Instagram! Instagram can be a vapid, soul-sucking charade of orchestrated yoga perfection and marketing. But it can also be a tool to cultivate relationships with like-minded yogis. I can think of several yogis whose posts I look forward to everyday, because they constantly inspire me to be a better, more authentic person.
This year has been incredibly challenging, but looking back now (with the lovely benefit of hindsight), it has also been incredibly rewarding.
Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to stuff my face with a chocolate birthday smoothie. I am still a yogi after all.
Has yoga taught you anything new this year, this month, this week? I’d love to hear about it!