Yoga has been around for thousands of years, practiced around the world, and developed to adapt to local cultures and philosophies. The core benefits to those who practice yoga are both mental and physical. Some who participate simply seek to refine their inner drive or find sanctuary from the chaos of our daily lives. Those who embrace yoga and make it a part of their lives discover additional amazing lessons. These rarely result in dropping 30 pounds in 10 weeks, increasing your performance for those special times in your day, or train your brain to remember the name of everyone you meet in the past 12 months. Those are what informercials are for. The simple and amazing lessons of yoga are more basic, foundational, and have a dramatic impact on your life and interaction with others. Here are five lessons you can apply to your everyday life from practicing yoga.
5 amazing lessons from yoga
Lesson #1: Love your body
Our bodies are simply amazing and adaptable machines. Yoga enables you to feel and test your body in ways that can be difficult and sometimes uncomfortable in the beginning. You stretch, bend, flex, twist, strain, and balance. Over time the movements become less mechanical; more mental and driven by your understanding and love of your body. Progress is as much about something you will feel as what you will see. So get over your flaws, we all have too many to count, and love your body.
Lesson #2: If you want to survive, you’ve got to breathe
Deep breathing is a vital component of yoga. It has a biological effect on our mental, emotional, and physical state. In yoga, when you concentrate on breathing, you are present and you let go of the past and focus on that moment. Taking deep breaths can reduce your stress level and help you relax. It’s important to try to let go of things that are out of your control in your life and instead focus on what you can control. Close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths. Unless your kid is screaming in the background you will feel better already.
Lesson #3: You always have choices
As you develop and progress in your practice, you can modify poses to make them more challenging and allow you to further improve your flexibility and strength. It’s also true that if a pose is too difficult, listen to your body and modify it so it’s a little easier or just go down in child’s pose. In life, we always have choices and it’s important to choose wisely and enjoy the journey.
Lesson #4: Don’t give up on your dreams
When you’re practicing yoga, you have to challenge yourself and push a little harder every time to keep improving. Sometimes you must be willing to endure discomfort in order to achieve your goals. The same happens in life. If you have a passion to pursue and want to succeed, you have to be willing to take risks and this often means getting out of your comfort zone. If you keep trying and work hard, it will pay off at the end.
Lesson #5: Live in the present
Nowadays, everything seems to move at the speed of light. Most people are in a hurry and don’t take the time to see the world around them. They speak but fail to listen, run instead of walk, bury their head in a cell phone instead of engaging with others, and plan their future instead of living in the present. Yoga will change your perspective, sharpen your focus, and allow the mind to expand. This slow and methodical pause then opens the door to more effective decision making, listening, and focusing on what matters in life.