10 Lessons I've Learned From Yoga

June 21, 2017

"Get out of your head and into your heart. Think less. Feel more." ~ Osho

Happy International Day of Yoga!!

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I thought it would be fun to celebrate by sharing some of my favorite yoga photos, as well as some lessons I've learned in the 3 years that I've been on the mat. Of course, I am by no means done learning as I go through my regular yoga practice, but I have learned some some pretty amazing lessons.

1. Buy TWO yoga blocks - not long into my yoga practice I wanted to get some accessories for my practice at home so I bought a yoga block. One single yoga block. I now realize that was kinda silly. While there are many yoga poses that you can do with one block, there are some I want to work on that require two.

2. When you want to get out of the pose, you need to stay in it - during each yoga class, it's your breath that keeps you centered, grounded. When I'm in a tough pose and want nothing more than to plop to the floor, I focus on my breathing technique and never give up. It's an amazing feeling to work through the uncomfortable poses and know that you were strong enough (mentally and physically) to stick with it.

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3. Finding YOUR studio takes time, but it's worth it - yoga studios are popping up everywhere, if they're not already established. Especially here in the DC area, it can be overwhelming to find a studio that you love. In my opinion, it's not just about the classes you take. Your instructor(s), fellow yogis, and the whole vibe of the studio is so important. It's fun to make friends and trust me, you will! You'll start to see the same people in classes and develop a bond. It's incredible!

4. YouTube yoga is a good alternative - I'd much rather practice yoga at my studio, with my favorite instructors, but if I can't make it to class I'll get out my iPad and find a YouTube yoga video. It's certainly not as intimate, and a bit harder to focus (for me, anyway) but it works. Sometimes I'll even skip the YouTube part and put on a soothing Pandora station while I go through my own practice. (I like the Soundscapes & Lullabies Pandora station.)

5. There are so many different types of yoga; try them all - It's a lot of fun to try different types of yoga classes to see what you like best. My favorites are Vinyasa, Hatha, and Restorative (especially on a Friday night.) And if Artoga is offered near you, try a class...I highly recommend it, it's so much fun!

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6. No one cares if your feet look perfect - I remember reading an article about this a while ago and the more I think about it, the more I realize it's true. No one cares what your feet look like, or the fact that nail polish has come off 2 of your toes. Everyone is there for one goal: to deepen their yoga practice and connect with their soul and breathing. If I have chipped polish, oh well!

7. Yoga will help you live better off your mat - literally every time I finish a yoga class, I'm much more calm, less stressed, and have a more positive outlook on the world. I try to keep that balance off the mat - especially during the work week. If I am stressed, I always find myself going through a round of breaths, too, just like in class. And I don't even realize I'm doing it!

8. Our bodies are beautiful - it is seriously amazing what our bodies can do. Even during a simple act like walking, there is so much that needs to happen throughout our system to make that happen. Yoga is just another way to challenge our body and muscles in ways they may not be used to. (Which is a good thing!)

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9. Not flexible? Not a problem - a lot of people have the misconception that anyone and everyone who practices yoga is super flexible. That's not the case! Sure, we do get more flexible as our practice grows - but it takes time. And constant work. But here's another thing to remember: it doesn't matter how flexible you are a year from now. During a yoga class, the instructor always tells us to stay within our scope of practice, and modify a pose if needed. There are plenty of times I have to do that, and it's okay. It's better to take your time (as well as avoid injury).

10. It's never too late to start practicing - as much as I wish I'd discovered yoga years ago, I'm so glad that it's been part of my life for over three years now. I can't imagine life without it! While it may not be for everyone, it's never too late to step on the mat and see where it takes you. (And if yoga has taken a backseat in your life for a while, it's never too late to jumpstart your yoga practice again!)

Namaste, friends! <3


What lessons have you learned through your yoga practice?

2 comments

  1. Whew! I bought two yoga blocks! And I loved this post - I need to get back into my practice because both the health and mental benefits!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katie! I can't recommend yoga enough, clearly ha! I still can't believe I didn't think to buy 2 blocks.. like, duh! haha!!

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