When you practice yoga regularly, you will notice changes not only in your physical body, but also on a mental and emotional level. By doing yoga with full dedication and commitment, you are on a path of self-discovery!
Even if you are not flexible, or have excess fat in your body, if you think this is not for you, I encourage you to try, give it a chance. Sometimes you need to change multiple instructors to find a right one for you. Of course, not all people will be attracted to yoga and that is perfectly fine.
In my life I’ve been practicing various sports. After graduating from the Faculty of Sports and Physical education, I started working as a fitness trainer and conducted various group fitness programs as well as personal trainings. I always loved to see how people become healthier and happier; the smile on their face was my biggest reward. But for me, something was missing…
Gyms were always full, group programs were raising the adrenaline, but I was looking for some silence. When I tried yoga, first time in 2015, a whole new Universe opened to me and I would like to share with you a few important lessons that yoga taught me.
I have been practicing yoga regularly since 2016 and in 2020 I finished the Himalayan School of Traditional Yoga’s Teacher Training Course in Bangalore, India. I always believe that what is original is essential and truthful; that is why I wanted to study yoga that had been practiced even centuries ago.
Your body is your temple – this is so true. Take care of your body, feel your body, connect to your body. There is no better way to do this than yoga! I am pretty sure! And it is not only about your body, it is much more… If you are interested in knowing what exactly yoga can teach you in life, keep on reading!
1.Love and accept your physical body
How much do we really love and accept our body? How many times do we say “if I could only change this…”? How often do we feel the pain in some body parts and what do we do about it? Our body is sending us signs that we should do something about it.
In yoga, you have the opportunity to connect to your body, feel your body and also transform your body, become more flexible, stronger and healthier. Body transformation will always follow the inner transformation. When you do the asanas, you are fully aware of the body parts involved, you actually feel what is going on in your body and you respect the limits of your body. So there is no pushing or forcing!
2. Love and accept yourself
You are enough and you are unique! Being imperfect is perfectly fine! Drop all of your self-judgment, self-criticism and allow yourself to flow, to be natural. Yoga will teach you that!
You are much more than your physical body. Yoga can lead you to higher levels of awareness and you can only reach this state only when you are in silence and when you are in deep peace.
3. Be in the present
Be here and now. Present time is the only thing you have. Past is gone, future is unknown, so be in now. When you practice the asanas, you are fully in the present moment, feeling what is going on inside you and in your physical body. When the mind starts wandering, the effect is much less. When you are fully focused, which gets improved by practice, you also start to live more in the present in your daily life, and concentration levels are much higher.
4. Do not compare with others
Your neighbor in yoga class might be doing that amazing advanced yoga posture that you’ve always dreamed of! And you are maybe struggling even to move your finger! So what?!
We are all different. Yoga is only about yourself, there is no need to compare with anyone, not only in yoga but in life as well. Everyone has his/her own strengths and weaknesses. Keep on practicing regularly and you will become much better, there is no need to show off nor to compare with anyone.
5. Small steps towards big success
“Success comes before work only in the dictionary” is one of my favorite quotes. Today some yoga postures may not be easy, but the more you practice you will become much better and enter into the postures much more easily. For some postures, it may take longer, but keep on practicing. In yoga, as in life, commitment and discipline are the essential part of the success.
6. Failure is fine
When you already have been practicing yoga for a certain period of time and your body is ready for more advanced postures, you may fall hundred times until you learn how to perform certain asanas. “Failure is not the opposite of success; failure is the part of success”.
7. Flexibility, balance and strength
As your body becomes more flexible, the more you will be flexible in life. You will just go with the flow. Yoga also balances body and mind. The more you practice yoga, the more you will be balanced in your daily life. Yoga improves focus and concentration. You will become like a peaceful warrior, peaceful inside and strong and brave to deal with many different life challenges.
8. Everything starts with a breath
You can’t control your heartbeat, your digestion, secretion, etc. The only thing you can control is your breath. Without oxygen, there is no life. Everything starts with a breath. Different breathing techniques, or pranayamas, will help you become more peaceful, stress-free, relaxed, to sleep better, while some of them will make you more energetic, balanced, sharpen your focus. There are plenty of health benefits of breathing techniques, which are one of the important parts of traditional yoga classes.
9. You need to find time for yourself
In the modern world, we are so busy. There is a quote “If you can’t find time for your wellness, eventually you will find time for your illness”. You need this time for yourself. You deserve time for yourself. After yoga class, people usually feel so refreshed and rejuvenated.
And after all, just relax! Drop off all your thoughts, heaviness and relax completely. One of the best moments for many yoga practitioners is a deep relaxation part after yoga asanas. This feeling can hardly be put in words, you have to experience that!
Authors: Monika Nedic, yoga instructor