It’s yoga awareness month! I experienced yoga for the first time a few years ago….at the end of the 45 min session, I broke out into tears…unforced…I had no idea what just happened. (Fortunately I made it to my vehicle before it happened) Yoga is a powerful cleanser and one can learn so much about themselves…it’s more than exercise.
I read an article recently that I want to share with you. The life lessons learned through yoga outlined in this article are worth learning yourself and could even be used to help your clients, your family, your friends. Here are 10 from yoga expert and Executive Director for the Academy of Holistic Fitness Linda-Christy Weiler.
Life Lesson #1 (yoga pose: Standing straddle forward fold pose (with rotation) ) – Establish a solid foundation : The base of support in yoga postures refer to the body parts that are receiving your body’s weight and transferring this weight onto the earth to create a sound foundation.
Life Lesson #2 (yoga post: Inclined plane) – Cultivate a support system: The backside of the body represents the realm of your psychological support system as well as your organic structural support system. “Awareness in the body’s back side feels like having eyes on the back of your head.”
Life Lesson #3 (yoga post: Preparing proper leg placement for Warrior) – Get your priorities right: Knowing what is most important in terms of placement in each pose will make the pose safer and more beneficial for the body.
Life Lesson #4 (yoga pose: King Dancer) – Be in the moment: Sensory awareness and mindfulness are vehicles that yoga postures use for transformation and healing. “As long as you are living life as an embodied human, the life of your body is your life.”
Life Lesson #5 (yoga pose: Single leg seated straddle pose (with fold and rotation)) – Meet and greet every challenge: People give up too quickly. Learn to stick with something until the superficial issues drop away and the deeper issues surface. Only then can true problems be identified and essential issues resolved. “Get past the wildness of the mind and tap into the steady and calm nature of your spiritual self.”
Life Lesson #6 (yoga pose: Seated forward fold pose) – Learn tolerance and acceptance: We learn to tolerate and accept poses we don’t like and that may cause discomfort, uncertainty or humility. We understand they have value. We learn to tolerate and accept what we cannot change and instead consider changing our perspective. “Initiate mental equanimity.”
Life Lesson #7 (yoga pose: Seated Hero) – Restore calmness: There is nothing inherently wrong with humans experiencing a full range of (noncalm) emotions. Even emotions like anger when channeled in a constructive, nonhurtful way can be energizing and empowering. Return to a relaxed presence and release noncalm emotions by deeply inhaling and exhaling to create a sense of peaceful grounding and calm.
Life Lesson #8 (yoga pose: Seated Funnel) – Experience and accept change as a constant: By passing through the cyclical stages of a yoga pose we learn to accept the inevitability of change. “Realize that endings lead to new beginnings.”
Life Lesson #9 (yoga pose: Tree pose with prayer hands) – Let go: When practicing a yoga pose, detachment enriches the experience. Detachment is a psychological construct that relates to releasing tension, not trying too hard and not being aggressive, impulsive or competitive. Detachment allows you to let the process unfold naturally and accept and approve of how the body performs today.
Life Lesson #10 (yoga pose: Seated spinal twist) – Live your mission: Practicing yoga enhances your awareness and is a way to help you gain wisdom and appropriate decision making regarding your body, health, behaviors, relationships and your life’s mission. “Make every pose a good pose. Make every day a good day.”