Yoga creates connection between mind and body. It helps with mental clarity and concentration. It creates more peace in your life. It builds physical and emotional flexibility. It increases physical and literal balance. And, it helps with your ability to see things from a different perspective.
Yoga is also the perfect opportunity for self-discovery. It is the ideal space to learn about yourself — to learn who you are, what you stand for, and what makes you unique to the world.
As such, who you are on the mat represents who you are in life. Who are you on the mat? Ask yourself the following 4 questions:
1. Are you patient in each pose or do you get easily distracted and move on before the time is up?
Chances are that if you are impatient on the mat, you are impatient in the world too. To begin to change this pattern, the next time you take a yoga class, be mindful to practice patience, even if it is only for 2 minutes or for 1 pose. Start small and build up to a stronger level of patience.
2. Do you push yourself too hard or do you listen to your body and back off?
If you push yourself beyond the point of what feels comfortable and safe in a pose, it is likely that you do the same in your day-to-day interactions. This pattern may show up when you say “yes” to doing something you don’t really want to do, just because somebody asked or told you to do it. It may also show up as you are pushing your limits beyond the scope of what’s possible in a 24 hour day, not being careful to heed the signs from your body to take the time you need to reboot and recharge.
3. Do you give up too easily and come out of a pose before you have fully challenged yourself?
Yes, it is important to know your limits. But more often than not, when we face something challenging, fear gets in the way and we give up. Pay attention to your ability to challenge yourself within healthy boundaries. We are capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for.
4. Are you someone who compares yourself to the other people in the class, wishing you were like them?
If this sounds like you, STOP! Comparison is the worst thing you could do to yourself. And chances are, if you are doing it on the mat, you are doing it in your life too. It is so important to know who you are and what is best for you regardless of what anyone else does or can do.
Practice gratitude for the perfection that is your life. You are in charge. You get to make the rules. You get to decide.