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5 Practical Lessons from the Yoga Mat

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Looking back most often we have that defining moment that leads us towards our first yoga class.

So why did we choose Yoga? At the surface, the answers are mostly connected to the tangible, physical benefits.

The realization of the answers to this deep-rooted question – WHY YOGA? with time & consistent practice translates into becoming better at LIFE. 

The modest mat is a silent observer that reiterates the fact that ‘Yoga is a way of life.

5 Practical Lessons from the Yoga Mat

These Big 5 practical lessons from the mat into our everyday lives are just the tip of the iceberg.

Your Breath is Everything

 “A yogi measures the span of life by the number of breaths, not by the number of years.”    Swami Sivananda.”

Breathing consciously is the very source of life & Yoga. Much like a bridge between the mind & body. It is through the breath that we are able to navigate different levels of consciousness.

Acknowledging each deep breath on the mat, silences the mind & prepares the body to flow with effortless ease.

Mindfully regulating deep, long breaths off the mat allows you to let go of the past & future; and stay with the ‘PRESENT.

A liberated state of being alive every moment; as you continue to expand your awareness with each inhale & exhale.

Self Love

Each of us is unique with extraordinary gifts to offer the world. Yoga teaches us to truly understand this by not comparing our body, mind & breath.

There is no competition & every individual’s journey is different. Yoga is an experiential practice & a safe space where you should feel supported. This enriching practice on the mat fluently paves the way into daily life.

We naturally connect with our feelings both emotional & physical at a deeper level. We evolve from a space of awareness of our whole selves & in turn become more accepting of our current situation (irrespective of if we are happy with the outcome or not).

When you can live your Yoga even in the hardest moments you will experience the essence of self-love & only then can you share your heart in abundance with the world.

Be a Witness

To witness is to observe impartially & this is an untapped superpower we all have. 

 We listen to the teacher & move with our breath while on the mat. We listen to our loved ones off the mat. Yoga gives us a road map to life & actions we choose off the mat for others & ourselves.

So often we get carried away with temporary emotions, overthinking & external influences that shape our very existence.

Learn to be a witness in your own life; notice your feelings & thoughts without being judgmental.

This means to purposefully disengage from liking or disliking your observations & experiences.

Don’t get entangled in them mentally or emotionally. The more asana, meditation, and pranayama you practice the more you realize that you are not your thoughts & act from a place of awareness & empathy. 

Soften & witness peace in every pause. A little goes a long way! 

Savour Silence

The world we live in is overstimulated; silence provides us with a refuge to simply detach & observe the hyperactive ways of the mind.

On the mat you savour silence & this helps you stay deeply grounded with your practice. 

In the hustle & bustle of life when we detach from our thoughts & emotions; we allow the mind to settle a bit.

This act of non -speaking evolves into listening to our inner voice that communicates the message of the universe.

Looking within encourages inward reflection & focus. Staying present with each feeling is liberating & fosters a calm mind.

Yoga encourages you to experience stillness, comfort & steadiness.

An ever accessible tool to invite inner calm & discover our true natural state when life takes over.

So as often as you can take a step back & allow this silence to anchor your body, still your mind & nourish your breath.

Enjoy the Journey

Know that your start with everything in life (Yoga included) will not look like someone’s middle.

An asana practice can be parts humbling, challenging, gratifying & so much more.

Challenging poses can test your patience until a major breakthrough. Choose practice over perfection. Making friends with the pose and practising every day with a positive mindset is vital.

One day the pose will present itself at the most unexpected moment & you will learn to be more appreciative.

The whole point of Yoga is not only to progress physically but grow mentally & emotionally. This takes time & a whole lot of perseverance. 

Sincerely showing up every day with an open mind is the fundamental game-changer both on & off the mat. Celebrate life’s milestones along the way & don’t be hard on yourself.

Enjoy the journey of falling, failing & looking at the storm in the eye. The destination is the goal but relishing the journey & being happy where you are is far more important. 

Finally, there is no benchmark of being “Great” at Yoga. It’s how you feel inside that matters most. So keep smiling & never lose sight of your journey!

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